I was fortunate enough to see The Mentalists this week thanks to London Theatre Direct. The Wyndham's Theatre never ceases to amaze me at how beautiful it is. With its bespoke pale eggshell blue wallpaper it's like sitting in a Victorian front parlour with its picture frame stage.
The play itself is new writing which I'm passionate about. Written by Richard Bean it marks Stephen Merchant's West End debut - so was it just another day albeit at a new "office"?
The set is a simple standard, if exceedingly dated hotel room. Stephen Merchant plays Ted whom we are led to believe is a successful fleet car manager and family man. It comes as no surprise that Mr Merchant's comic timing in delivery of these well written lines is spot on. I made a note that I felt that some mannerisms were very like John Cleese and sure enough I read in the program that he is indeed inspired by Mr Cleese and Tony Hancock.
Steffan Rhodri plays the role of Morrie a hairdresser who appears to have health issues with his hands and has a sideline in making "dubious recordings" of his conquests. The pair work well together and are equally matched in both their stage presence and comedic acting.
As expected the play opens with what's seems to be a straightforward storyline and then gathers momentum. It demonstrates its multi layered dimensions of a more complex scenario about relationships and a struggle to make a difference in the world.
I personally very much enjoyed this show. I found the writing refreshing and the direction by Abbey Wright perfect to get the story across. Anne Vosser yet again has cast exceedingly well and should be congratulated.
Yes it is Stephen Merchant's West End debut but I would expect that it won't be his last stage appearance. This is a fun show with a relatively short run of just 12 weeks so if you want an entertaining evening out I'd encourage you to go and see this show.
Revisiting my original question I do feel that Mr Merchant has indeed found a new "office" to attend at least for the next 12 weeks!
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