Thursday, 21 June 2018

Red: Wyndham's Theatre

After seeing 'Sancho', and hanging out  bit with the friend I went with, I headed into the National Gallery to visit a few of my favourites, then headed to Wyndham's theatre to see Red, which is about Mark Rothko. 

It's a short play, and this production features  Alfred Molina as Rothko, and Alfred Enoch as his (Fictional) assistant, himself an aspiring artist, and deals with the period when Rothko was at the height of his was painting his murals for the four seasons restaurant.

The play starts with the arrival of the assistant, and tracks their growing (if prickly) relationship, with the assistant 'Ken' starting out as gauche, uncertain and reverent, to the point where he starts to challenge and disagree with Rothko, as they discuss art, with Ken speaking up for the new wave of artists such as Lichtenstein and Warhol.

Molina's Rothko is not a likeable character, he is didactic, opinionated and abrasive, but also shows flashes of self doubt, and a clumsy kind of sympathy. 

Enoch, as 'Ken', gradually moves from his initial youthful awe, to a more confident man, questioning and even challenging Rothko.

There is a glorious moment when the pair start to cover a canvas in red undercoat  both of them working, in perfect unison - a pleasure to watch.

I would have liked to see the show from  lower don, to be able to more clearly see the actors' expressions, but even from the balcony it's worth seeing. 

It's at Wyndhams until 28th July.

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