Review: Travels With My Aunt

By John Nathan, May 20, 2013
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Menier Chocolate Factory, London SE1

In Giles Havergal’s amusing adaptation of the Graham Greene novel, four actors in dull suits interchange the role of Greene’s narrator — retired bank manager Henry Pulling — and all the other male and female characters in the gently subversive story.

After his mother’s funeral, Pulling is swept into his Aunt Augusta’s law-breaking, convention-busting world of long-distance travel. Christopher Luscombe’s shadowy production is set among the architecture of Pulling’s local suburban train station, suggesting his escape from a life of conformity. The evening is high on charm and Jonathan Hyde, who takes the bulk of the Aunt Augusta role, and the oddly mesmerising David Bamber — whose stares have a strangely manic quality about them — are outstanding.

But Greene is diminished in a show whose acting overshadows rather than enhances the story.

Last updated: 3:35pm, May 20 2013