Nicholas Hytner and Nick Starr both left the National Theatre in 2015 and have established London’s first commercial playhouse in 80 years, the brand spanking new £12.5 million, 900 seat auditorium Bridge Theatre next to the City Hall on prime South Bank real estate, under the shadow of Tower Bridge. It opened last October with the new comedy, YOUNG MARX, written by Richard Bean and Clive Colman, reuniting the team behind one of the NT’s biggest smash hits ONE MAN, TWO GUVNORS.
Directed by Sir Nicholas, it featured Rory Kinnear in the title role, as the renowned revolutionary and author of ‘Das Kapital’ who, as a 32-year-old German Jew is living in penurious exile in Soho’s Dean Street with his wife and children. It attempts to synthesise the the spirits of Karl and Groucho, demystifying Marx as ‘broke, restless and horny… a frothing combination of intellectual brilliance, invective, satiric wit and child-like emotional illiteracy’… and a bit of a piss-artist who aims to have a pint in every pub in Tottenham Court Road.
Paul Taylor in his four-star review for the Independent wrote, “Rory Kinnear is on glorious form here-believably both as a high-powered intellectual and a greasy-maned emotional disaster area.” Rory signed my drawing for me after I left it at the stage door before the show ended last week.