Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Dealer's Choice Revisited
I don’t get to revisit shows as often as I like. I often mean to but am rather magpie-like and am usually distracted by something shinier and newer. But sometimes I do get my act together and manage to squeeze in a second viewing.
I have been meaning to see Dealer’s Choice again, since it moved to Trafalgar Studios. I had seen it – and loved it – at the Menier, but regretted that I had not gone to see it with my friend Juice who is quite the poker fiend. We finally managed to gather ourselves together on the last day of performance and get day tickets to the penultimate show, the Saturday matinee.
When we bought the tickets we were warned “you can’t be late with THESE tickets.” We only understood the meaning behind these rather stern words (surely you shouldn’t be late with any tickets?) when we arrived. Through luck rather than judgment we had snagged excellent seats, sitting sideways to action right on the stage itself, a whisper away from the actors. Had we been late we would have had to walk across the set itself.
The show itself more than stood up to a second viewing and I was able to delight in the rapport between the actors once more, more so if anything as, from our seats, we could see every subtle glance, every raised eyebrow. It was lovely being able to anticipate what was coming, to be able to focus more on the nuances of delivery and the audience reaction. My enjoyment of the play also gained much from seeing it with someone who knew the ins and outs of the game, who could scythe a path through the denser stretches of poker-related lingo.
I did wonder if, being the last day of play, there might be some end-of-term misbehaving from the cast, but there was none that I noticed - though Jay Simpson, who plays Frankie, did dash on late and breathless for the curtain call much to the amusement of the other cast members and the audience.
And finally, a question: where should one head for a post-play drink after a visit to the Trafalgar Studios, when the sky is a vile, hostile grey and you are umbrella-less?