Epstein is a show of thought-provoking insight and raw emotion, but it does not revel in misery and despair.
In this retelling of the life of near “mystical” impresario Brian Samuel Epstein, set shortly before his death in 1967, writer Andrew Sherlock has more than successfully read between the lines of the almost spectral mystique of the Beatles’ manager and unearthed a deeply troubled soul, superbly portrayed here by Andrew Lancel.
That Epstein is often depicted as a two-dimensional persona is done away with here, thanks to Sherlock’s tight script and some excellent direction from Jen Heyes, which allows Lancel to crawl beneath Epstein’s skin and wring the most from his loneliness and fear.
Will Finlason plays This Boy, a potential one-night stand who turns out to be a fan who only wants to know “what it was really like” back in the beginning. With some impeccable timing, the Boy becomes much more than a sounding board to Epstein’s torment, particularly when he points out his many failings as a businessman. “The Stones are earning ten times more now than The Beatles ever did,” he spits in a fit of chilling contempt.
The staging is a blank canvas apartment, filled with 60s furnishings and a square-panelled mirror that reflects a fractured image of its owner - a telling parody of what he himself must have seen so often, a man wrought with so many contradictions. It marks the play as an experience not to be missed.