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Birthday, by Joe Penhall, Royal Court
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rakspatel wrote in mycroft_brolly
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Photo credit: http://unitedvoices.tv/birthday-royal-court-until-4th-august

Cut and pasted from the Royal Court Website:

Birthday by Joe Penhall
Until 11 August 2012

Lisa and Ed are having another baby. Determined to do things differently this time, it’s proving a bumpy ride. This is a whole new birth plan.

Joe Penhall’s audacious new play arrives kicking and screaming at the Royal Court.

For full production information, including the trailer, and to book tickets, follow the link:
http://www.royalcourttheatre.com/whats-on/birthday

Raks's Reaction

This review can be very short.

I was really looking forward to this as I LOVE Joe Penhall - Blue/Orange, Landscape with Weapon, and Haunted Child. Love them!

However, I was massively disappointed by this play, which was dull, tedious, very boring, and not at all funny. It is a one trick pony - the conceit being a man gives birth. If you want to go to the theatre to spend one and a half hours in a room watching a man give birth, this play is for you! For me, personally, I can't think of anything more tedious and boring. And no, this is not how I would choose to spend an evening given a choice! To top it all, the characters were unengaging - they did not interest me in the slightest - except for Joyce, the Black African midwife, who was a joy.

Topline Summary
Very poor, not recommended at all.
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Didn't choose to see this myself as you know, but my daughter and her friend were amused by it. Loved Stephen Mangan as Guy in Green Wing, and enjoyed him as Dirk Gently, but agree that the premise of the play sounded simplistic, with performance almost totally reliant of Mangan's accustomed character portrayal and manic delivery style. Pun entirely unintentional!

Stephen Mangan - Never seen him in anything before, so he was not on my radar, and I don't think he was well served by the script. I did not warm to, nor could I engage with, his character.

"Delivery style" - I LOVE that pun!

You SO made the right decision in opting to see Posh - I saw it for the third time yesterday and each time I see it I am more impressed by the outstanding quality of both the writing and the acting.

I can honestly say that Posh is one of the best ensemble casts in the West End.

Total contrast to Birthday. Each character in Posh is so well drawn and well defined, it gives the actors plenty to work with, and they do wonders with it. You get to know all the characters inside out by the close of the play - remarkable achievement given it has 10 lead male actors, plus the two women (Rachel and Charlie), plus the landlord, plus the godfather. Each character is a detailed character study in its own right.

Edited at 2012-07-19 09:14 am (UTC)

Actually you will be interested to know that it emerged during the Q&A that Joe Penhall had written the play with Stephen Mangan in mind.

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