WORTH A LOOK?: ***
WHERE: Hampstead Theatre
WHEN: 19/10, runs to 26/11
We missed the third act of this three-and-a-half hour epic after receiving some bad news in the second interval.
- Read on for the highlights of the first two hours of this UK premiere
We should’ve known something would go wrong with our evening after the reason we booked (Jessica Hynes) dropped out of the show and our original choice of performance (first preview 15/10) was cancelled.
We’re also here however because author Tony Kushner penned blockbuster Angels In America and we’re hugely excited to see the National’s production of it next year starring Nathan Lane, Simon Garfield, Russell Tovey and Denise Gough.
The cutely abbreviated #IHo is the story of the warring Italian-American Marcantonio family headed by suicidal former union worker Gus (a thoughtful David Calder), his sister Clio (a mesmerising Sara Kestelman, often still but gifted the best lines) and Gus’s daughter Empty (Tamsin Greig, cold and uninvolving).
The story is epic, encompassing, as the title suggests, workers’ rights as well as the more personal politics explored by Empty’s brother Pill, his husband Paul and the character of Eli (Luke Newberry bringing just the right level of annoying youth to the part), the hustler who comes between them.
It reminded us of Angels In America because the plotting again doesn’t quite appear to justify the grand themes and scope of the writing. IHo‘s many scenes of characters speaking over each other are very difficult to pull off and at this second preview it appears there’s much work to be done to render them clever rather than off-putting as currently.
Maybe we’ll get to see the final act before the end of this run. 3* then for now but do bear in mind much could change in the final hour which we missed.
- Picture via Facebook courtesy Hampstead Theatre. Tickets
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