First night of ‘Blue/Orange’ at the AWT
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I’m not a particularly adept theatre goer – I can get bored easily and certain plays, farces in particular, I find a bit ridiculous. But Blue/Orange at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, was a really enjoyable surprise, not least because I’d misread the promotional blurb and thought I was going to have to sit through a psychological thriller (actually it was a ‘thrilling psychological play’. Oops!).
But you can’t really do a play about mental illness and its tragedies without a dose of counterbalancing black humour attached and so, to my surprise, Blue/Orange had more than its fair share of laugh-out-loud moments and rollicked along nicely. I really enjoyed it.
Robert Bathurst (Cold Feet, Downton Abbey) played to type as a slick, privileged, public-school/Oxbridge psychiatrist, with excellent comic timing. Oliver Wilson as the black patient, suffering almost certainly from schizophrenia, was particularly compelling, a believable blend of young man bravado and scared, sick child. Gerard McCarthy, making up the threesome of actors and playing the ‘straight’ role of the GP with a conscience, came alive when his lines allowed him to, as his character became more conflicted in the final act.
Loved the set too – the white consulting room, all glass and steel and minimalist spun around at the end of the act whilst the actors stayed still in freeze-frame.
In short (Christ, finally I stop wittering on!), no shrink necessary to figure out that I thought this was great. Definitely worth seeing before it leaves for York at the end of the week.
Blue/Orange, at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, until Saturday 29 September 2012. Tickets £10-32.