Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at The National

Last weekend I went to see Every Good Boy Deserves Favour at The National Theatre. The play is by Tom Stoppard and Andre Previn and is quite extraordinary. Here is a short synopsis:

A dissident is locked up in an asylum. If he accepts that he was ill, has been treated and is now cured, he will be released. He refuses.

Sharing his cell is a real patient Ivanov, who believes himself to be surrounded by an orchestra. As the dissident’s son begs his father to free himself with a lie, Tom Stoppard’s darkly funny play asks if denying the truth is a price worth paying for liberty.

The patient who believes himself to be surrounded by an orchestra actually IS surrounded by an orchestra on stage and this makes for a fantastic spectacle – dramatic live music, physical theatre and classical acting converge perfectly. I enjoyed it immensely.

It is also an absolute honour to be watching a play in The Olivier Theatre at the National, as you leave the theatre you are surrounded by spectacular photographs of all the great and the good of Theatre from the last one hundred years, you feel surrounded by history and somehow closer to it. The South Bank is one of my favourite places in the whole world, every time I go there everything is buzzing and I end up seeing something I didn’t expect to.

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