Edinburgh Guide
Edinburgh international festival and fringe
Edinburgh Festival
Edinburgh International Festival 12th August - 1st September 2001
Edinburgh International Festival Section

Too Late for Logic by Tom Murphy

Company Royal Lyceum Theatre Company
Venue King's Theatre
Address 2 Leven Street
Reviewer Ksenija Horvat

The thing is, with Tom Murphy one should never expect anything else than a sizeable dose of absurdism. His plays are clever, witty and generally thought-provoking. They work particularly well in smaller theatres (size of Traverse 1) where actors can bounce off the audience's immediate response. They are less successful when mounted as extravagant productions on a large proscenium stage.

Not that Murphy is not extravagant, far from it. But his extravagance is in the language that he uses to express complex ideas about man's position in contemporary world, not in lavish sets.

Here enters the Royal Lyceum Theatre's production of Too Late for Logic at King's Theatre, in Patrick Mason's competent direction. It is slick and suitably presented to attract intellectual crowds. It is also uneven in the sense that rhythm at times slows down into mere tirade. When it works, and there are several scenes when it does work, it is largely due to the sheer tour de force of one man, Duncan Bell, who excels as Christopher.

The rest of the cast is suitably intense, Juliet Cadzow is excellent as Monica, there are good turns by Jennifer Black in the double role of Patricia/Maud, Hugh Ross as Michael, and Gregory Finnegan as Jack. Sandy Neilson and Matt Costello provide much needed comic relief as Michael's pub mates, and Jo Freer still needs to find the right pace as young Petra.

Still, the accolades for this show should be reserved for designers Francis O'Connor and Paul Keogan. Whether or not the set and lighting are in the spirit of Tom Murphy's work is another matter, but they are, nevertheless, well-devised and fun to look at.

© Ksenija Horvat 15 August 2001