Theatre: Every Good Boy Deserves Favour



Maybe it was the fact that it was an 8.45pm start, or that I had a rather hearty meal just before seeing it, but I found it hard to stay awake watching Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at the Olivier Theatre. The premise of a man hearing an orchestra in his head was interesting enough, but this work by Tom Stoppard and André Previn feels like three separate stories in one. The first story was the crazy guy with the triangle who hears the orchestra, the second being the one of the dissident, and the third being the perspective of his son. Throwing all three together, the play just didn't work. Judging by the audience's muted applause at the end, I don't think I was alone with that view.

Still, there is the novelty factor of seeing an orchestra and play combined. And Toby Jones is a treat in the lead role. The odd moments of insanity seemed to suggest this could have been something better. But for the most part it just felt so dated. Like something that would have been staged at the Royal Festival Hall in 1977 as an attempt to do something important. Well the music was nice, and I liked the concept. I liked even more the idea of a late short play which enables you to have a leisurly dinner beforehand. Let's hope theatres do more of them if they can get the punters to them. Perhaps it is just advisable however to ensure the dinner does not entail too much carb loading...

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