Monday, 15 August 2011

Jude Law in Anna Christie at Donmar Warehouse

Ruth Wilson as Anna Christie. Photo: Johan Persson 
Normally when posting these theatre reviews I try to be quite professional about it - I guess my days at the BBC are difficult to shake off. But OH MY GOD seeing Jude Law in Anna Christie changed all that. I cannot hide my delight at his performance. Or...his physique.

Briefly, the play is about a young woman and her estranged sailor father (David Hayman), set in America in the 1920's. It is a serious story about serious issues of abandonment, self-respect, sexism and trust. The plot is wonderful; the set, depicting the closeness of the sea, brilliant; the acting excellent.

I saw all this and felt very fortunate to have got such good seats (via our trusted 'theatre agent' friend), and during the first half and hour or so, was paying close attention to the Swedish (not so good) and American (better) accents displayed. I was even beginning to see how the sea did indeed play a big part in the play, just as expressed by one reviewer I'd read before the evening.

All this until Jude Law burst onto the scene. He climbed out of the water and dropped onto the deck of the scooner like a roaring sea lion, gloriously wet and scantily clad.

Jude Law. Photo: 
Mr Law completely stole the show. Ruth Wilson as Anna Christie was smouldering enough while secretive about her past. Her father - played by David Hayman - remained stubbornly (and selfishly) ignorant of any problems her long-lost daughter might have. Hayman's poor Swedish accent took much away from his performance for me - I could not believe in his character and had I not been so mesmerised by Law, as the young sailor falling in love with Wilson, it would really have spoiled the play for me.

Anna Christie is a powerful play. I only wish I could have given all the actors equal attention, but then I am only human after all...