Chiara Stephenson’s set design is gloriously intricate, the first act takes place in a Chinese restaurant and every detail has been accounted for, right down to the goldfish tank. It’s large and spacious, and you can imagine a group of diners arriving at any moment. The second act is even more detailed, with the burgled office strewn with papers and debris.
The only downside to such fabulous staging is that the interval lasts almost as long as the first act, which is itself relatively short, in order for the stage to be reset. Ultimately though, it’s a tradeoff worth making to achieve such realism in the look and feel.
A stellar cast have been lined up for this production, led by Christian Slater as Ricky Roma. Of course, he is a natural on stage and his performance is absorbing and completely believable. Kris Marshall, as office manager John, and Stanley Townsend as Shelly Levine also stand out for their impassioned performances.
There’s a great deal of interjecting dialogue in this play, it’s part of what makes it so funny, at times though, it can feel like the actor is waiting for the interruption to come, rather than it occurring naturally, as intended. The lines are delivered at fast pace, which keeps the audience hooked, and it’s undeniably funny, even if we sometimes feel we’re sniggering at things that are no longer acceptable to laugh at.
Glengarry Glen Ross is a timely revival of a legendary play, it is sure to attract a new legion of fans who have been drawn in by the appeal of the movie, and will enjoy the original version just as much, thanks to the beautiful direction of Sam Yates. The sharks mantra is ‘always be closing’, but the only crime here is that this limited run will close all too soon.