Let me begin by being very clear and saying that I in no way consider myself to be a theatre critic! However I do take great pleasure from a well acted play, and that’s exactly what Kevin Spacey did in Clarence Darrow. If you want a theatre critics review I’d suggest reading the guardian, timeout or even get it straight from Spacey himself.
I always liked Kevin Spacey in the films I had seen however I was in no way a fanatic fan. So the fact that it was him performing this one man play wasn’t what really tugged at me to book it. Instead I rather like the simple, straightforward and honest feeling that one man plays generate for me. They epitomise the sort of theatre I love, that being the back to good acting and noting else roots of theatre. I get enough special effects and computer generated greatness from movies and TV. What I rarely get from TV however is that engrossing, spine tingling sensation when one realises the quality of the acting in a play. Normally when I see a play of this quality I’ll not realise just how engrossed I am until the interval where upon you realise that an hour or hour and a half has just flew by almost instantly!
This is how I felt after Spacey exited the stage for the interval of Clarence Darrow. Judging by the rapturous round of applause he got for what must have been 5 minutes solid, every other person in the theatre felt the same as myself.
So dear reader if there is a purpose to this post other than as a place for my ramblings then it is that I urge you to seek out those special plays. One’s that don’t rely on gimmicks and flashy stage support, rather the one’s who are brave enough to say ‘Hi, we have a few actors/actresses, allow us to completely capture you for the next two to three hours of your life!’. I guarantee you won’t regret it!
If at this point you are looking for a little direction I can wholeheartedly point you in the direction of Shakespeare’s Globe and the closely related Sam Wanamaker playhouse. Also with the right play the Old Vic was a wonderful theatre to be in.