Saturday, 2 November 2013

'Raving' Hampstead Theatre **

Well so what can I say about Simon Paisley Day's newest play 'Raving'? It's a production that needs much more refinement especially in terms of the narrative because it seems quite statuesque. The play is set in a converted Welsh farm barn that features three comparatively different married couples who are having a supposedly relaxing weekend retreat. I thought that the story could have been thoroughly refined to establish clarity and professionalism. A slightly disappointing piece of comedy by Paisley Day. The performances by the company were satisfactorily conveyed here and the delivery of the comedy was far too forced for ones liking. I found Tamzin Outhwaite's portrayal of the overly protective mother Briony was quite depressing as it seems that all of her lines were based on the same subject of returning home to her precious son. Her childlike husband Keith (Barnaby Kay) who is fixated by Briony's breast milk makes me think about the stupidity of this piece of theatre. The casting of 'That Mitchell and Webb Look' co-star Robert Webb as London PR guru Ross seems to be the only pleasing performance here as he conveys a man who is desperate for inch of excitement in his life. This was portrayed to a good standard of finish. The direction by the Hampstead Theatre's Artistic Director Edward Hall was quite lacklustre here as it seems that he hasn't fully understood the context of Paisley Day's woeful script and the quality of his directing was poor from start to finish. On the other hand, I did find some parts of the play to be somewhat amusing but on the whole not too much. Even though the review seems quite negative I must congratulate Jonathan Fensom's beautiful design as it seems to capture the essence of a Welsh farmyard barn conversion retreat pretty successfully and the attention to detail was brilliant. It defiantly redeems itself from the rest of this tomfoolery. Overall I thought that 'Raving' was an nauseating and appallingly constructed show to have seen.

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