Overhung by a forest of microphones, Roger Michell’s production has an incisive musical elegance.
The subsidiary characters are sometimes free to wander as in a dream to the back of the massive thrust stage, but the rancorous main pair get no parole.
Penhall’s play eloquently suggests that that may not be far enough.
IF he was not exactly on the radar before, by yesterday morning actor Ben Chaplin was “every housewife’s guilty fantasy”.
Bernard is a sneering, perversely seductive monster of manipulative egoism.
Quizzed about his first spouse, he reacts blankly as though asked a question about the inner life of Martians: “How could I possibly know what my wife was thinking?
On her American tour, Cat got so wasted on drink and drugs that she had to be bundled unconscious on and off planes and trains.
Federal kidnap is a crime – a fact that Cat’s lawyer is not slow to exploit.
Cat, a fast-rising young Irish singer-songwriter, has been denied a songwriting credit by middle-aged producer Bernard.” He supports the theory expressed by Cat’s therapist that music attracts sociopaths who can connect through their instruments while playing.Kerslake, by contrast, has a wonderful openness as the songwriter – giving you increasingly extended indications of the trauma behind her brandy-and-valium habit.He says that that “she had a vague idea which gave me a bigger idea”; she says he rearranged her musical ideas so that they sounded like his old songs and then stole the recognition. Tired old prejudices are lobbed around – such as that women lack the “detachment” to write a classic song or that men have greater technical expertise rather than the grubbier advantage of being “better bullshitters”.One similarity the pair have is that they are both significantly damaged people – as the brilliant performances by Ben Chaplin and Seana Kerslake demonstrate.