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Anatol review at Arcola London

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Anatol, “frivolous melancholic” and fin de siecle hedonist, stalks the suburbs of nineteenth century Vienna in search of love.

Caught between “sweet young things” and “wicked ladies of fashion”, he is frustrated in his search, ricocheting from woman to woman faster than the latest millinery fashion.

Schnitzler, whose work inspired The Blue Room and Eyes Wide Shut, was himself an Anatolian figure and behind the wit and polish of the dialogue, there is a hopeless ennui which even the speed at which the characters deliver their lines cannot disguise.

One criticism of Schnitzler’s script is that it is overly verbose and too long by half. In terms of Anatol’s progress, there is none – the message at the beginning remains the same at the end, that to Anatol’s jaded mind all women are the same and that without trust there can be no love.

The cast seem too young and lack the charisma to carry the world-weariness of their characters and there is a lack of conviction about the production that is reflected more than anything in the shoddy, ill-fitting costumes which a charwoman wouldn’t be seen dead in, let alone these bright young things.

Production Information

Arcola, London, February 21-March 18

Author
Arthur Schnitzler
Director
Thomas Hescott
Producer
Back to Back
Cast Includes
Samuel Hodges, Meredith MacNeil, Andrew Fallaize
Running time
2hrs 15mins

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