The American Plan makes its West End debut this July, transferring from a successful run at the Theatre Royal Bath earlier this year. David Grindley directs Richard Greenberg's tale of twisted motives, broken souls, ravaged dreams and deceit.
Greenberg's recent work The Assembled Parties was nominated for the 2013 Tony Awards for Best Play. He won the 2003 Tony Award for Take Me Out, which also picked up numerous other awards on both sides of the pond following succesful runs at London's Donmar Warehouse and The Public Theater in New York. His drama Three Days of Rain was revived in 2006 on Broadway with Julia Roberts heading the cast, while a 2009 London production starred James McAvoy. His other works include The Violet Hour, The House in Town and The Author's Voice.
The American Plan stars Diana Quick in the role of Eva, with Luke Allen-Gale as Nick, Emily Taaffe as Lili, Dona Croll as Olivia and Mark Edel- Hunt as Gil. Jonathan Fensom’s simplistic set evokes the lakeside setting beautifully; the sloping wooden jetty set producing reflections on the dark glossy flooring as if it were surrounded by water, but this eventually gives way to a less idyllic setting, which comes to reflect the melancholy of the play’s conclusion.
Emily Taaffe does well to capture the complexity of Lili’s character, at once a fragile and unstable figure and a selfish manipulator brimming with eccentricity. The presence of Luke Allen-Gale’s charming Nick brings an element of calm, providing an escape from her domineering mother and the troubled thoughts inside her head.
While every member of the five-strong cast, which also includes Dona Croll as Eva’s caring maid Olivia, delivers a convincing performance, Diana Quick steals the show as Lili’s dictatorial mother Eva, who draws humour from her past as a German Jewish refugee. Moving around the stage with a ‘Helen Mirrenesque’ sense of royal superiority, Quick delivers her lines with an amusingly stern accent, which punctuates this drama about sexuality, class and familial relationships with a powerful punch of humour.
The American Plan tickets are on sale now with the show's previews commencing on the 2nd July. It will run at the St James Theatre until Saturday 10th August.