Wednesday, 12 October 2016

No Man's Land

When you learn that Sir Ian McKellen and Sir Patrick Stewart are reuniting to appear on the stage together there is only one possible response, if you live close enough, and that is to book a ticket immediately.

So that is what I did.

And on Saturday I went up to London to see the play, 'No Man's Land' by Harold Pinter.

It's not one I've seen before. I really enjoyed it. Partly because it's Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, who could both make reading the telephone directory fun, and partly because this is a play with many darkly comic moments.

billboard on theatre showing Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen

Patrick Stewart is 'Hirst', a wealthy and successful writer, but apparently suffering from some form of memory loss/confusion, although whether this is purely due to excessive alcohol or something more is unclear. Ian McKellen is 'Spooner', a down-at-heel and unsuccessful writer.

They have apparently met in a pub, and returned to Hirst's home to continue to drink, and talk, often at cross purposes. Later, we meet Hirst's companions / servants - Foster (Teale) and Briggs (Molony) who add an air of occasional menace.

It's an odd play, where nothing is entirely clear (how many of the mens' reminiscences are true, how many are attempts at oneupmanship or pure invention, for example) but it's gripping, and often very funny (sometimes doubly so due to the performers, for instance when Spenser comments on Hirst's hair loss).

Well worth seeing.

The live show is on until 17th December, although tickets are not cheap, but it is being shown in cinemas on 15th December - I'd see it, if I were you!

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