After its 2015 Broadway premiere Simon Stephens’ new two-hander HEISENBERG:THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE has arrived in the West End at the Wyndham’s Theatre. Directed by Marianne Elliot, it is the debut show for her new company Elliot and Harper and stars Anne-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham. It’s an 80 minute study of a mismatched couple, riffing on life, love and everything in between. Anne-Marie is Georgie, an American school receptionist in her forties, who jokes she’s an assassin and Kenneth plays Alex, a seventy year old butcher who’s used to being self contained. Both signed my drawing after last Saturday’s evening performance.
‘The most acclaimed new play of the decade’, The Father has just transferred to London’s Wyndham’s Theatre for a limited 8-week run after it’s UK tour. Receiving an unprecedented nine 5-star reviews from all of the British major newspaper critics and winner of France’s highest theatrical honour, the 2014 Moliere Award for Best Play, this Theatre Royal Bath and Tricycle Theatre production is based on Christopher Hampton’s ‘crisp and witty’ adaption of French playwright Florian Zeller’s savagely honest study of dementia. Tony and Olivier Award nominees Kenneth Cranham as the titular character Andre and Claire Skinner as his daughter Anne lead the superb cast. The Telegraph’s Dominic Cavendish wrote,”One of the most absorbing and distressing portraits of dementia I’ve ever seen.” The writer wants the audience to ‘get lost in a mental labyrinth’, not to simply be a witness of the effects of Alzheimer’s, but to actually feel the confusion and the devastating realisation and loss of what is slipping away. In many reviews it was reported that the final scene has most of the audience sobbing and some having to be helped from the auditorium.
The stage doors of both the Wyndham’s and Noel Coward Theatre’s open out onto a small shared alleyway. Photograph 51 with Nicole Kidman is currently running at the later, attracting a large crowd for it’s A-list star, which means The Father cast can be a little difficult to find emerging at the same time, especially on a Saturday night. Howeve, I managed to locate both Kenneth and Claire to sign my sketch.