Caught "The Dresser" this past weekend - free tickets again :)
No, "The Dresser" is not a play about furniture... it's about the relationship between an aging Shakespearean actor and the guy who dresses him (his 'dresser').
This is the first time I've seen Adrian Pang on stage and I was really impressed! Having seen him only in bad local TV productions, I didn't quite know what to expect... but I was blown away by his acting skills - he has perfect comic timing, providing most of the laughs in the play, and also pulled off a pretty good English accent. His portrayal of the meticulous dresser was convincing without being over the top.
On the other hand, I didn't like Michael Corbridge, who plays the aging Shakespearean actor, also known as Sir. In the play, Sir is getting on his years, and due to exhaustion and old age, is slowly losing his mind. Seeing Sir swing from being deliriously crazy to being sane and perfectly lucid just did not seem real to me. Well, I guess it's not really fair to say that Michael Corbridge didn't do a good job, but rather the fault lies with the playwright.
What I absolutely have to bitch about is the supporting cast. There is nothing I HATE more than people overacting... and this play had two really bad overactors and I cringed whenever they appeared. One played a cocky supporting cast member and the other played a female supporting cast member trying to seduce Sir. The guy who played the cocky supporting cast member seems to think that nasty glares constitute cockiness... and the girl seems to think that acting affected, IS acting. I still cringe thinking about it.
I loved the set design! The translucent walls allowed us to see conversations taking place behind doors and along hallways. The set also seamlessly transformed from Sir's dressing room to the backstage of the play that was taking place. So we the audience, somehow ended up backstage looking at King Lear being staged. Brilliant!
The play was slightly draggy though, lasted about 2 hours... and I was told the original West End version was 3 hours! But the ending was touching and tied the story together really nicely.
All in all I had a good time - it's just the thing if you're looking for an evening of light entertainment.