I’ve been left feeling underwhelmed by some theoretically big-ticket outings recently.
Take ‘The Most Incredible Thing’ at Sadler’s Wells last Friday. Pet Shop Boys + Javier de Frutos + Fairy tale. What’s not to get excited about? Oodles of money evident in the live orchestra, the large cast, the bells-and-whistles staging. And yet, and yet … it was all at the service of an incredibly light storyline and woefully muddled setting. Forgivable as a Christmas show for children maybe but with 4* reviews, perhaps we should be asking more of our critics.
Or take ‘Bingo’ starring Patrick Stewart at the Young Vic. In this case, maybe I should have read at least one of the reviews before booking (Ah, but there’s the rub!). A perplexing, overlong shamble through the last months of Shakespeare’s life, focussing on some small, circumstantial events that bear no relation to the importance of this man to our history. I’m a Patrick Stewart fan. Why have his recent roles been so disappointing?
And as for the David Shrigley show at the Hayward. No, it really doesn’t justify any words.
Maybe the lesson for me should be to leave big names well alone.