WORTH A LOOK?: ****
WHERE: Wyndhams Theatre
WHEN: 5/5, press night 15/5, runs to 28/7/18
There’s a sense of unfinished business about this production which opened at the Donmar in 2009, transferred to Broadway where it won six Tonys but never made it to the West End.
- Read on for reasons including where you might have seen Alfred Enoch before
One crucial difference is that it is without Eddie Redmayne who won a Tony for his performance as the young assistant of painter Mark Rothko who is struggling with a big commission.
Taking his place is Alfred Enoch (pictured above) who might be familiar as Dean Thomas from seven of the eight Harry Potter films.
Molina (who we loved as Joe Orton’s lover in Prick Up Your Ears as far back as 1987 and more recently in BBC2’s The Feud) is perfect as Rothko. He’s an unconventional artist who works office hours and is the antithesis of his more bohemian counterparts.
His art reflects the conflict between structure and freedom; his use of colour showing the encroachment of black as he comes to terms with his own mortality and the end of his career as he is usurped by the young pretenders the presence of Enoch reminds us of.
Enoch has his own showy moments and the sections where he reveals his own back story and where Rothko gives away a reason for seemingly unspeakable behaviour allow Enoch to show what a capable young actor he has become.
Red is 90 minutes without interval and, although not much happens, it’s a two-hander which is staged as thoughtfully and beautifully as it is written by John Logan and performed by its cast.