Craig Gibbons' Lifeblog lifeblog://tri.eat.net

19Apr/050

National Anthems starring Kevin Spacey

Last Friday, Laura and I went with friends Christa and Marty to London's famous Old Vic Theatre for a performance of National Anthems (by Dennis McIntyre) starring Kevin Spacey as Ben Cook. I did a bit of reading and discovered this play is something of an old favourite for Spacey. He first played the part of Ben Cook 17 years ago and has actually owned the rights to the play ever since. Going to the theatre in london is a real treat, not only do you get to see the best productions the world of theatre has to offer, but often you get to see some of the finest screen actors along the way. National Anthems stars, in addition to the eminent Spacey, such well known screen actors as Steven Weber (the reader may recall a TV series called "Wings") and Mary Stuart Masterson (of "Fried Green Tomatoes" fame) in the roles of Arthur and Leslie Reed. Theatre can often be unpredictable and uninspiring, but we were fortunate enough to go on a night when Spacey and indeed the other cast members were at their best. The play is truly an eclectic piece, altogether disturbing in parts and then at once raucously amusing. The audience is see-sawed as Spacey's character embarks on an exhausting tale both physically and emotionally. Spacey gives it as much energy as a third year drama student on final examination practical and much to his credit, pulls off a truly brilliant performance which only increases in orders of magnitude as the story unfolds. The play ended to deafening roars from the crowd who remained on their feet well into the fourth, well deserved, encore. National Anthems shows at the Old Vic Theatre until the 23rd of April 2005.

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