Review: Travels With My Aunt

By John Nathan, May 20, 2013

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: 4:35pm, May 20 2013