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Alex review at Leicester Square Theatre London

Welcome to the world of fund managers, pension deficits, corporate wheeler-dealing and duplicity on a grand scale. Who better to guide us through the minefield – or is a quagmire? – of City finance than the silky smooth Robert Bathurst, incarnating the cartoon creation of Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor to the letter.

We find Alex in fear of losing his job as an investment banker when one of his client companies looks like collapsing, not to mention his marriage to the long-suffering and permanently pissed-off Penny, who gripes that he is always too busy to give her a longed-for child. His automatic reaction to the news that she has walked out on him is to look into hiring a temp.

As you will gather, Alex is not the most sympathetic of heroes. In fact, he is an insensitive, money-grabbing little twerp, but luckily the show has Robert Bathurst to make him palatable.

In these times of digital definition and sophisticated CGI, the forced marriage of live action and projected animation sometimes seems a bit clunky, but you can’t help admiring the technical complexity of the whole thing.

Bathurst seems to have grown in confidence and stature since I saw the show a year ago at the Arts. Apart from being a Herculean feat of memory, his Alex has become a virtuoso performance of some distinction.

The show’s biggest flaw is that the script simply isn’t funny enough. What works on the page in a strip that’s meant to be mildly amusing on a daily basis doesn’t have the depth or structure to work as a cohesive piece of theatre. However, there were City types in suits around me who thought it was a hoot.

Production Information

Leicester Square Theatre, London, November 27-December 20

Authors
Charles Peattie, Russell Taylor
Director
Phelim McDermott
Producers
ATSP, Eleanor Lloyd
Cast
Robert Bathurst
Running time
1hr 15mins

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