First of all – I am incredibly pissed off about the fact that Bill Nighy isn’t even nominated for a Tony Award for his performance in The Vertical Hour. Extremely pissed off. I have no words for it really, if that wasn’t award worthy acting then I don’t understand a thing. Kevin Spacey (Moon for the misbegotten) wasn’t nominated either.
But despite all that misery, I had a ticket for a play tonight.
Landscape with weapon, Cottlestoe theatre, National theatre – London
It has some well known names attached, which isn’t a guarantee for a good play, but it was in this case.
Joe Penhall has written it. He also wrote the award winning Blue/Orange , with the award nominated Bill Nighy, you know, that actor that should have had a Tony award. I saw Blue/Orange
(sorry in Dutch) (now in English) in a small somewhat obscure room in the theatre video archive in London. But then I am a bit weird.
Blue/Orange and Landscape with Weapon are both directed by Roger Michell. Roger Michell also directed (among many other things):
Enduring Love (with Daniel Craig and Bill Nighy), also written by Joe Penhall
The Mother (with Daniel Craig)
and Venus (with Peter O’Toole).
In Notting Hill, Julian Rhind-Tutt played the Time Out journalist, who, together with Hugh Grant, was going to interview Anna Scott (Julia Roberts). He was also in Green Wing, a UK tv series.
Both Tom Hollander and Julian Rhind-Tutt gave an absolutely fantastic performance in tonight’s play.
The play is about Ned (Tom Hollander) who works as an engineer in the military industry. His latest work has been the creation of extremely sophisticated software to control rockets. While he is proud about his work, talking with his brother slowly makes him realize what it actually is he is doing. His company however is not happy at all when he changes his mind, and things get very unpleasant for him from that point.
Tom Hollander gave one of the very best performances I have seen on stage ever, and while I wasn’t a very big fan of Julian RT, I am now, he is fantastic. There was very good chemistry between the two on the scarcely furnitured stage, and there was also enough to laugh about.
The numbness feeling I had when leaving the theatre and the last scene spooking around in my head long after I left the theatre told me that this was a great play. The thing is that you try to think about a possible solution for the problem brought up in the play, but there doesn’t seem to be one. And that keeps nagging you.
Catch it if you can.