Harry Met Sally (Haymarket Theatre Royal)
did the theatre give up being theatrical?
thought stole over me while watching this latest lame, tame and
entirely pointless film-to-stage adaptation.
film-to-play adaptation simply re-runs the same plot with diminishing
returns - like a pale photocopy on which the toner is running
only might we just as well have stayed at home and seen it on video
(and saved a lot of money), but we were already, in a sense, doing
exactly that - watching an inferior re-make version for television.
Gently nudging its original time-frame a little forward to make
its 12-year friendship-to-consummation journey between the eponymous
couple end on Millennium Eve, it employs recognisable faces - if
not exactly star names - in Beverley Hills 90210s Luke
Perry and Buffy the Vampire Slayers Alyson Hannigan.
It's even staged here, by director Loveday Ingram and designer Ultz,
in a 'letterbox' edition that, rather like watching a film on television
framed by black space on either side of it, truncates the action
into neat, cinematic windows that have the bizarre effect of mostly
cutting off the actors at the knees.
film-to-musical translations usually add an extra dimension, namely
songs, to the mix, this film-to-play adaptation simply re-runs the
same plot with diminishing returns.
exactly what's promised on the menu but - unlike the customer in
the diner who, in a recreation of the movie's most famous scene,
hears Sally's fake orgasm in the adjoining booth and declares "I'll
have what shes having!" - I'd rather eat elsewhere.
The fact that the customer is a gay man, not a woman as in the film,
is as pointless as it is arbitrary.
the rest of the production, it doesn't cast a new light on the story
so much as succeed only in being a pale photocopy on which the toner
is running dry.
only fresh thing about any of it is the musical interludes from
Brit jazz sensation Jamie Cullum and his brother Ben.
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