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.

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 Islington Entertainment Stories

13:33
Oscar. Picture: Bella Howard

West Hampstead-raised Oscar Scheller studied at Belsize Park Fine Arts College, but has quickly built up a musical following with his brand of loose-leafed guitar pop. Ahead of a show at Tufnell Park Dome on February 18, he spoke to the Gazette.

Thu, 17:26
Deadpool. Picture: Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Its decision to break the fourth wall could backfire, but Marvel’s latest is a welcome apology for 2015’s awful Fantastic Four, says Michael Joyce.

Wed, 09:06
Meru Expedition, Garwhal, India. Picture: Jimmy Chin

This documentary following three climbers trying to conquer the Meru Peak offers a wider look at the supercharged tedium of mountain climbing, says Michael Joyce.

Mon, 13:01
Laurence Fox

The former Lewis star tells Alex Bellotti about playing the revolutionary Charles de Gaulle alongside Tom Conti.

Most read entertainment

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe