Review: Hangover Square

By John Nathan, July 25, 2008
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Finborough Theatre, London SW10

 

Staging Patrick Hamilton's seedy, pre-war Earl's Court novel in an Earl's Court theatre gives an extra edge to Fidelis Morgan's adaptation. In this tiny venue, Gemma Fairlie's production and Alex Marker's design miraculously serve up a rare, shadowy vision of London's underbelly in 1939.

An excellent Matthew Flynn exudes a desperate sweatiness as hapless George who is humiliated into committing murder. His victim is Netta (a role inventively cast with two actors, Caroline Faber and Clare Calbraith), the ruthless sexpot who bleeds George of all his dignity and most of his money.

The play could do with a cut. Morgan spends so much time ramming home her theme of obsession, the play loses crucial tension. But this portrait of a London overshadowed by Hitler's rise, stalked by sociopaths and fascists, is well worth the price of a ticket. (Tel: 0844 847 1652)

    Last updated: 4:53pm, March 2 2009