Search

Theatre review: Six Actors in Search of a Director at the Charing Cross Theatre

09:56 21 June 2012

6 Actors in Search of a Director at Charing Cross Theatre. From left: 
Sarah Chamberlain (Debra), Philip Voss (Charles), Ruth Everett (Francis), Paul Trussell (Alan) and Neil Stuke (Brian). 
Photo by Marilyn Kingwill

6 Actors in Search of a Director at Charing Cross Theatre. From left: Sarah Chamberlain (Debra), Philip Voss (Charles), Ruth Everett (Francis), Paul Trussell (Alan) and Neil Stuke (Brian). Photo by Marilyn Kingwill

Marilyn Kingwill

I once spent the most tedious working day of my life as an extra on a Guy Ritchie flick, standing around in a warehouse doing next to nothing for 10 hours straight.

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

By the end of the day, even as a penniless 16-year-old, the £50 I pocketed felt like scant recompense for the excruciating boredom I’d been subjected to.

Prolific actor and director Steven Berkoff, whose film credits include Octopussy, Rambo and Beverly Hills Cop (though no Ritchie works to my knowledge), is no doubt all too familiar with the interminable waiting between takes, and that’s what his latest play is all about.

Six thesps sit in a featureless hotel room waiting to be summoned by their director, who takes on an almost religious significance as the man grasping their destinies in his hands.

That’s about it as far as the plot goes. They sit, wait, moan, bicker, wait some more, and ultimately not a whole lot happens. It’s six actors in search of a director and one play in dire need of some action.

The characters go in circles, repetitively fixating on the same details: the lukewarm coffee, the ropey catering, the director’s brutal attention to detail, their feelings about the film’s A-list star. Occasionally they break out into searching self-examination, but with none of the characters being particularly likeable or engaging, it’s hard to care.

It does successfully create a convincing portrait of this world, and there are flashes of wit, including a funny off-stage opening where we hear the director at work, while the cast is strong, particularly Neil Stuke as wind-up merchant Brian, an entertaining presence throughout.

But by the time the sextet are put out of their misery in achingly predictable fashion, it has – like my time on the Snatch set – simply dragged on too long.

* Six Actors in Search of a Director is at the Charing Cross Theatre in Villiers Street, WC2, until June 23.

0 comments

Latest Entertainment Stories

Yesterday, 12:27
With London nights catering to every taste, there's no need to spend New Year alone. Picture: Piotr Marcinski

Don’t panic if you haven’t made plans, there’s no shortage of ways to ring in 2015, says Alex Bellotti.

Wed, 14:38
Bar at Verden

Wine bar’s steak night has rare quality

Mon, 12:07
The decor in Finch's is party trendy kitsch, part chain pub

If your not a suit clad city type, there’s not all that much to tempt you down to dine on the unpromising stretch of City Road south of Old Street.

Sunday, December 14, 2014
billy the kid

It’s worth saddling up for this Wild West-themed panto, says Aline Waites

Most read entertainment

The mother of seven of the children suffered serious stab wounds. She remains in a stable condition in hospital.

According to the MoD, the answer is a resounded “yes”.

Lewis Hamilton’s metaphor for life is particularly deep, with many turns.

Prices are dropping like nobody’s business – and they’re set to fall further in January.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition