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The Dazzle review at Found 111, London – ‘superb performances’

Andrew Scott and David Dawson in The Dazzle at Found 111, London. Photo: Marc Brenner

Andrew Scott is one of those actors who knows exactly what tools he has at his disposal and just how to use them. There’s a choreographic quality to every gesture, every eked out vowel and arched eyebrow. With the right material, he can be mesmeric.

Here, Scott and David Dawson play Langley and Homer Collyer, a pair of wealthy, reclusive real-life New Yorkers who lived a life of increasingly insular squalor in a dilapidated brownstone during the early part of the 20th century. Richard Greenberg’s play is something of a slow burner and the first half is fairly sluggish, frustratingly so. It’s the kind of thing that only reveals itself slowly, with the brothers’ oddly tender and increasingly dependent relationship bringing to mind everything from Waiting for Godot to Rain Man to Robert Holman’s A Breakfast of Eels. The interplay between them is fascinating, their disdain for the outside world, their little frictions; it’s like watching Niles and Frasier Crane magnified and broken.

Simon Evans’ production has the feel of an event about it. It takes place in the former Central St Martins building, the intimate space reached by winding concrete stairs. More could probably have been made of the room and the cluttered design doesn’t really give you a sense of the extent of the brothers’ hoarding habits, but it’s a joy to watch actors of this quality in such close quarters, and good as Scott is, it’s Dawson’s masterful performance, delicate, controlled yet potent, which really impresses.

Verdict
This intimate staging in a pop-up space acts as a showcase for some superb performances

Production Information

Starts
December 8, 2015
Ends
January 16, 2016
Press night
December 15, 2015
Authors
Richard Greenberg
Set
Ben Stones
Lighting
Neil Austin
Sound
Edward Lewis
Technical
Oliver Kaderbhai (movement), Charlotte Crone (company manager), Ottilie Kirk (assistant stage manager)
Stage manager
Isabella Anderson
Production manager
Ben Brown
Cast includes
Andrew Scott, David Dawson, Joanna Vanderham
Producer
The Michael Grandage Company/Emily Dobbs
Running time
2hrs 25mins