Review: Travels With My Aunt
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.