THEATRE REVIEW: The Spoils starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kunal Nayyar & Alfie Allen

WORTH A LOOK?: ***

WHERE: Trafalgar Studios

WHEN: 3/6, runs to 13/8

Standing ovations at the end of West End shows are nothing new but the enthusiasm with which this audience appreciated this play from the pen of Hollywood star Jesse Eisenberg and in which he also stars surprised even us.

  • Read on for more observations from the centre of the front row at the Trafalgar Studios

We’re sat in the centre of the front row at this venue and as we turn to look behind us we can’t see any audience member remaining in their seat and we’re not entirely sure why.

There can be no cast more starrier and youthful in the West End at the moment. Eisenberg was Oscar-nominated as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network in 2010 and seems to specialise in capturing the essence of what it is to be an outsider.

We’re seeing his play on the night it has opened to near-universal praise from some of the world’s harshest critics. It’s quite the coup to pull off.

Eisenberg plays Ben an aspiring filmmaker who is privileged but cruel to those closest to him including his housemate played by The Big Bang Theory‘s Kunal Nayyar. His best friend is Wall Street’s Alfie Allen (Game of Thrones) but it is his girlfriend, played sweetly by Katie Brayben (an Olivier Award-winner herself), who is the object of Eisenberg’s affections.

There is very American humour mined here but, terrific performances and casting aside, we weren’t as convinced by the quality of the material as those around us were.

  • Picture via Facebook courtesy Trafalgar Studios. Tickets here.
  • Enjoyed this review? Follow its author on Twitter @NeilDurham

 

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