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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!).

The subject – mental illness, ambition, the NHS, racism, the ‘system’ – are not glamour subjects, and of course I’d gone into the theatre expecting it to be very serious and esoteric and sloooowwww.

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.

2 comments on “First night of ‘Blue/Orange’ at the AWT”

  • Cat Cook September 26, 2012

    Thought I saw you there! It was good wasn’t it? I’ve realised why I like going to the theatre; it’s like reading a book, only quicker! Seeing a film is not the same in that it’s not real enough. As a not very prolific reader, something Like Blue Orange would never have come to the top of the pile (let alone Julius Caesar) and it was a great to have experienced both in a week!

    Hope you are well, glad MS is going from strength to strength.

    Cat

    Sent from my iPhone

    Reply
    • Muddy Stilettos September 26, 2012

      Hello! Glad you enjoyed it too. I’m exactly the same, a shot of culture in 2 hours. Easier than 2 weeks for a book! x

      Reply

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