Review: ‘Christian Slater steals the show’ ★★★ Glengarry Glen Ross, Playhouse Theatre

I’m sure anyone who has experienced a career in sales understands that it’s no bed of roses. David Mamet’s classic play-which was first performed in 1983- highlights the struggle of a sales force, in which there is inevitably an ‘I in team’.

Glengarry Glen Ross highlights the plight of a group of real estate agents desperate to top the sales leaderboard, earn their commission and gain a bonus in an aggressive competition to ensure they close the deal and keep their jobs.

Washed up salesman Levene (Stanley Townsend) tries to convince office manager (Kris Marshall) to throw him some more leads, while Aaronow (Don Warrington) is pressured by oily Moss (the sinister Robert Glenister) to break into the office. But it’s the ruthless Roma (played by Hollywood star Christian Slater) who steals the show in this otherwise rather gentle production. His aggressive, yet charismatic portrayal perfectly pitches the juxtaposition having your colleagues as your competition.

The problem is that under the direction of Sam Yates we never really see the full depth of the characters and get to grips with their motivation. It all feels just a bit too superficial and some of the quicker dialogue sequences seem stunted and overly forced, which results in very little build up of suspense in act one.

Act two remedies that to some extent when we are invited into the office and the exchanges become more like realistic workplace banter, but I was left feeling like I wasn’t entirely sure what the point of it all had been.

Glengarry Glen Ross is running at the Playhouse Theatre until 3 February 2018

Advertisements

Christian Slater set to return to the West End Stage

Hollywood star Christian Slater will return to the London stage next month in David Mamet’s masterpiece, Glengarry Glen Ross.

He will be joined by  Kris Marshall (Death in Paradise, Love Actually, My Family), Stanley Townsend (Girl from the North Country, The Nether) and Don Warrington (Death in Paradise, Rising Damp) as the ‘deal chasing’ cut-throat sales team.

This trailblazing modern classic, directed by Sam Yates, runs at the Playhouse Theatre from 26 October to 3 February 2018 for a strictly limited 14-week season. The play has won every major dramatic award on both sides of the Atlantic, making it an extraordinary theatrical success story. Its sensational world premiere at the National Theatre in 1983, earned it the Olivier Award for Best Play, whilst its 1984 Broadway premiere garnered multiple Tony Award nominations and just a year later, it won the Pulitzer Award for Drama. In 1992 the play was adapted by Mamet into an Academy Award nominated film featuring an all-star cast including Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey and Jonathan Pryce.

At a time of fierce debate about the American Dream and what it represents, Glengarry Glen Ross is a lacerating satire for modern society, highlighting how economic austerity can affect the morality and greed of individuals under financial pressure.

Lies. Greed. Corruption. It’s business as usual.

Set in an office of cut-throat Chicago salesmen. Pitched in a high-stakes competition against each other, four increasingly desperate employees will do anything, legal or otherwise, to sell the most real estate. As time and luck start to run out, the mantra is simple: close the deal and you’ve won a Cadillac; blow the lead and you’re f****d.

Christian Slater (Ricky Roma) is an internationally acclaimed actor who recently won a Golden Globe and Critic’s Choice award for his role in Mr Robot, for which he is also a producer.

He was last on the London stage in Swimming with Sharks at the Vaudeville Theatre and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the Gielgud/Garrick Theatre. His other stage credits include Spamalot at the Hollywood Bowl and The Glass Menagerie, opposite Jessica Lange, on Broadway.

Glengarry Glen Ross will be at the Playhouse Theatre from  26 OCTOBER 2017 – 3 FEBRUARY 2018