Thursday, 3 April 2014

'Good People' Hampstead Theatre ****

Once again, the Hampstead Theatre has produced another exceptional performance which is David Lindsay-Abaire’s ‘Good People’. The show tells the story of their recently sacked supermarket cashier, Margaret, who lives in a deprived area of South Boston and seeks out to find a new opportunity for employment. Margaret has a daughter with an array of learning and health problems and fears being homeless due to the fact she can't pay her rent now she's unemployed. As a fifty year-old woman, she understands that seeking out a new job will prove a daunting challenge so she decides to contact her childhood sweetheart, Mike, now a highly popular and successful doctor. Margie, who in fact is rather persistent in her quest to gain employment, invites herself to Mike's home. It's incredibly clear that Mike has moved on considerably from his routes in the undesirable area of South Boston and with Margie returning to his life it brings a lot of unwanted memories that he obviously wanted to forget. The writing is extraordinary as it's never what you would expect. It suggest the idea of the social classes within America and how people desire for a better life for themselves and Margie seems somewhat content with her life. However, she does become slightly jealous with the life Mike has made for himself. Lindsay-Abaire’s script is full of interesting themes and it's clear that desperation for money does make people rather nasty, especially when Margie shockingly advocates that Mike is the father of her disabled daughter to gain financial stability. Paradoxically, this statement is a vicious lie. I found the playwrights dialogue and concepts to be one of such brilliance and intent and encapsulates a lots of emotional energy that is sublime to witness. It is no surprise that Imelda Staunton decided to be a part of this and for me, she delivers a phenomenal portrayal of Margie. Her attention to detail is amazing and her American accent is incredibly believable. A wonderful job I must admit. Lloyd Owen performs the wealthy doctor Mike this tenacity and ease and the scenes with him and Staunton are superb. June Watson is amazing as a slightly strange Dottie. The direction by Jonathan Kent is outstanding as he is been able to create a production with real warmth and emotion that suggests the idea of improving life prospects. Hildegard Bechtler's design is beautiful as it depicts the upper and working classes with great polish. I particularly found the how experience to be a memorable one. When it transfers to the Noel Coward Theatre make sure you book tickets for it.

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