ADVERTISING AT CURTAINUP
Short Term Listings
BOOKS and CDs
LETTERS TO EDITOR
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp London Review
The Sunshine Boys
In the first act, the audience laughter from behind sounded canned Ė surely it couldnít have been but like Queen Victoria, we were so unamused, it seemed that way. The director may have been able to improve things because by all accounts those who saw it later in the week leading up to the gala opening were less disappointed.
The second act is better because it recreates the pair's comedy show but the humour is largely of the Carry on Nurse variety and pretty dated, unless you find iy hysterical to watch Danny DeBVito looking up a nurseís skirt. Later the two men survey their future and realise that they may be seeing more of each other than either of them intended and will be locked together in an enmity and rivalry, in their version of Hell. For this play to work there has to be the idea that there once was a connection between the two vaudevillians and although DeVito is credible, Griffiths is rather quiet and gentlemanly.
DeVito works hard and succeeds as the hyper, cantankerous and resentful Clarke. He is at his best verbally sparking with Adam Levy as his really kind nephew and agent Ben. We see Willie in his pyjamas, living in Hildegarde Bechtlerís scruffy hotel suite trying to answer the phone when the kettle whistles. Willie Clarke has never forgiven Al Lewis for pulling out of their double act 11 years ago and leaving him impecunious and desperate for any acting work of which there is precious little. Richard Griffiths is very well turned out and rather gentlemanly but unconnected.
For those who want to see Danny DeVito live on stage, this will deliver. Sorry to rain on your parade Sunshine Boys!
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.