Duchess Theatre, London WC2
It was going to be Richard Briers and Adrian Scarborough. Fine actors though they are, it is, I suspect, our good fortune that mark Rylance and director Simon mcBurney have taken on the roles of the chair-bound hamm and the slave clov in Samuel Beckett’s desolate play.
mcBurney has saddled himself with a reputation for devising mind-expanding shows with a revelatory brilliance. But here the text is the thing and his production stays loyal to both Beckett’s dialogue and stage direction.
But it is Rylance, all airs, graces, who is the marvel here. he invests hamm’s cruelty with a vulnerability, his disdain for his parents with a latent love, and his embrace of solitude with a fear of loneliness. ( www.duchesstheatre.co.uk)