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 Entertainment Stories

Friday, May 1, 2015
Drake

It started out as a music event for Londoners wanting to see contemporary acts that were hitting the charts, but ten years on Wireless has evolved into an established festival playing some of the world’s top urban artists.

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Villagers. Picture: Andrew Whitton

Ahead of his show at the Barbican, the man behind Villagers tells Alex Bellotti why he’s penned his most personal record to date.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
John Goodman (Don), Tom Sturridge (Bob) and Damian Lewis (Teach) in American Buffalo. Picture: Johan Persson

A stellar cast fail to bond in David Mamet’s early work, says Bridget Galton.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Shock Treatment

Dr Frank N. Furter’s return is anything but a horror show, says Caroline David.

Most read entertainment

Competitions

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Two phones. Same phone case. Genius.

To celebrate the launch of the first luxury dual phone case, PearPeel, we are giving away two of the black leather Rocha cases, perfect for holding two iPhone 6 handsets.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder