A master doing what he does best.
The enigmatic Steven Berkoff brings us his newest play, ‘6 Characters in Search of a Director’ and I was really looking forward to this piece. Berkoff’s reputation precedes his him, and on his reputation I cannot pretend to know anything but roomer, however, the roomers suggest that he can be a destructive force capable of inducing mental breakdowns. Needless to say, I was really excited to see his new work and my preconceptions on what I thought the show was going to be were blossoming. I was as giddy as a kid in his candy shop expecting to see a dark and truthful event that was going to shake me to the core.
I could not have been more wrong.
I loved it. I had a wonderful experience and I left the theatre happy and truly affected.
The play is about actors following a film shoot sitting in a waiting room, waiting for their next shoot. It is also about the philosophy of the human; identities and weakness. Humorous most of the time, cutting and deep other times- always quick witted and always keeping you focused on the story.
The directing was seamless and tight. Berkhoff had his actors in complete control of the tempos of the piece which allowed everything to flow nicely. Most of the acting was good, one character in particular was absolutely hilarious; he represented the kind of actor whom imitates all the ‘great’ old British actors. When he spoke all I could see Patrick Magee coming out of him, and I literally couldn’t stop laughing. The younger actors of the group do need a few more years of experience to bump them up to the standard of the older members of the cast, however the play was still very strong through the questionable moments of acting from these members.
I really wanted to give this piece 5 stars, the directing was slick, acting good enough, script was tight. Not to mention, when I left the theatre I was seriously laughing and happy, happy with myself as a human and happy as an artist who chose a life in the theatre.
Then I had a bit of a think, and I’ve deduced that the play is written for me, a person in the acting profession, a maker of performance, a lover/contributor of the theatre. I’m sure the themes of the piece will transcend occupations and remain clear, yet I do reckon there will be a few quality moments that will go over people’s heads.
The play is not for everyone. But I guess you could say ‘What play is for everyone?’, go check it out and judge for yourself. I recommend this over any other I’ve reviewed thus far, and message if you see, let me know what you think…
Performed at The Charing Cross Theatre until the 23rd June.