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Art review at York Theatre Royal

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Initially Yasmina Reza’s award-winning philosophical comedy is about the perception of modern art but it gradually widens to explore how three people see their 15-year-long friendship.

Serge buys an abstract painting. It is a white canvas, nothing more, and it is rather expensive. This financial folly astonishes the more traditional Marc and the two friends are soon falling out. The highly strung Yvan, who cannot make his mind up about anything, is caught in the middle.

Stuart Organ as Serge, Andrew Dunn as Marc and Daniel Hill as Yvan have a believable, interdependent friendship and that is the key to this production’s success. The actors have found the truth of their friendship and the emotional balance between the three of them. That balance tilts and shifts, angrily and hurtfully and – for the audience – hilariously. It is a very funny production.

Hill’s often hysterical responses are a rambling, breathless, agitated joy. Dunn’s reactions are sublimely effective – though he does sometimes look ill at ease in a light brown lounge suit. Organ is modern in thinking and outlook without seeming too pretentious. All three are admirable actors who are doing what they do best and watching them feed off each other is part of the enjoyment.

Framed paintings from the West End production of Art are used on the play’s usual black and white set. The technicians who are operating Richard G Jones’ lighting, which is reliant on finely controlled dimming, each deserve a pat on the back.

Production Information

York Theatre Royal, October 25-November 11

Author
Yasmina Reza
Director
Damian Cruden
Producer
York Theatre Royal
Cast
Andrew Dunn, Daniel Hill, Stuart Organ
Running time
Ihr 30mins

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