Friday, October 24, 2014


Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan in David Hare's Skylight.
Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Observer

Tonia and I caught Stephen Dauldry’s production of David Hare’s Skylight tonight. It is a thrill to have the theatre darken and then a play begin onscreen.

Tonia laughs at the intermission and then says, “I know it is irrational, but I feel that we should be able to go into the lobby and buy a ”three pound Dixie cup of ice-cream. This whole experience feels so “London”.

I had to have Tonia remind me about the significance of the title at the intermission.  When she told me, yes, I could remember that piece of dialogue, but there was so much going on that I hadn't caught the significance of the window to the outside built for the dying Alice.

I was surprised at the simplicity of the set and at the minimalist costuming. As the credits rolled by at the end, I noticed that ties that Bill Nighy wore were even given a nod.  There wasn't much to be said about Mulligan's costuming.  Even I can pull a pair of old jeans and a baggy t-shirt out of my closet.

To get to the heart of the show, the dialogue moved so quickly and was full of amazing intensity, all of that done in a drab London flat. I watched Carey Mulligan making that marinara pasta sauce as she delivered her lines and when she put the spaghetti in the colander to drain, I leaned over to Tonia and said, “I hope I can find some pasta to eat at the intermission. She has been making that look really good, even if she is putting the chilis in at the wrong time.”

I would love to see the show again – having the whole plot book-ended with the dialogue between Mulligan and the son was just the best touch. And the interview between Emma Freud and David Hare at the intermission was so natural and illuminating. Three cheers for shows from the West End – so easy to access with the HD Live transmissions, and the price so gentle on the pocket book.


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