On 11/11/11 we saw Inadmissible Evidence at the Donmar. This is John Osborne's play about a middle-aged solicitor cracking up, with Douglas Hodge frenetic and desperate in the lead. Memory is now hazy but I do remember it, which is something. It resembled Simon Gray's Butley: a self-loathing male protagonist whose outrageous behaviour was probably seen as very funny on first outing (1971 in the case of Butley, 1964 in this case) but to our politically-correct, post-feminist eyes now looks just boorish and selfish, which means one has trouble maintaining the necessary sympathy with the man. A fine set (by Soutra Gilmour), as so often at the Donmar: Bill Maitland's chaotic office, his desk centre stage, the rest of the office glimpsed through transparent panels behind. The action I can catch glimpses of as through a glass darkly. Maitland is a drunk (they always are) and a lecher. His rebellious daughter, much talked about, comes to see him and their encounter does not go well. His secretary-mistress announces she's leaving her job and him. Likewise his put-upon partner. You really can't blame them. It is, we're told, a self-portrait and not long after he wrote it Osborne too cracked up. Makes one glad one never met him. Apparently it runs for over three hours uncut. This was trimmed, but Charlie Spencer in the Telegraph said: With judicious cuts the Donmar’s staging lasts a little over two and a half hours, but it still feels like a punishing marathon devoid of the faintest scrap of comfort or hope. The rest of his review, along with others, here:
On 14/11/11 we saw Castor & Pollux at ENO.
On 17/11/11 D saw Danny and the Deep at Southwark. I missed it: had to work.
On 18/11/11 we saw The Veil at the National.
On 21/11/11 we saw The Last of the Duchess at Hampstead. Now this I do remember.
On 29/11/11 we saw Kitchen Sink at the Bush. This also was memorable.