Monday, 2 July 2012
Theatre review: The Only True History of Lizzie Finn
There's a few interesting ideas in Barry's play - I liked the use of doubling an actor (handsome Andrew Macklin) in several roles as a recurring theme of Lizzie searching for a sense of belonging as much as she felt in the music halls - but overall I found the play a bit too low-key to really come to life. It's probably not helped by a screenplay-like structure of very short scenes that never let you get too involved in proceedings. But there's good performances helping it along, like Penelope Beaumont as Robert's repressed mother with unseen reserves of emotion, and Karen Cogan a scene-stealer as a dippy, warm-hearted maid. Any play whose first act ends with the line "Oh, what knickers!" is kind of asking for trouble but The Only True History of Lizzie Finn doesn't deserve that particular joke; it's just not a play that I can imagine staying with me for particularly long.
The Only True History of Lizzie Finn by Sebastian Barry is booking until the 21st of July at Southwark Playhouse.
Running time: 2 hours 5 minutes including interval.