Review: Rain Man

By Jenni Frazer, September 26, 2008
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Apollo Theatre, London W1

 

There is something deeply queasy about this production of Rain Man, which, though produced with the co-operation of the National Autistic Society, nevertheless seems to invite the audience to be complicit in laughing at autism.

It must be said, though, that this audience has an investment in the show which by-passes any such delicacy. They are there to worship Hollywood star Josh Hartnett, who plays sleazoid car dealer Charlie Babbitt. Their attention, however, should be focused on Adam Godley, who is wonderful as Charlie's long-lost brother Raymond, the "autistic savant".

Adaptor Dan Gordon's dense updating of the role which won Dustin Hoffman an Oscar for the 1988 film, gives Godley dialogue unthinkable in those more innocent days. So Raymond goes into meltdown and manages to clear an airport lounge by shrieking "Osama bin Laden". At best, however, this is a saccharine adaptation of an equally sickly-sweet "message" film. (Tel: 0844 412 4658)

    Last updated: 10:11am, September 25 2008