Reviewed on Tuesday 15th December 2015
Staged at Found111 - the site of the old Central St Martins School of Art on Charing Cross Road - Simon Evans' production of The Dazzle by Richard Greenberg is one of the most beautifully atmospheric plays I have seen all year.
Andrew Scott and David Dawson play real-life brothers Langley and Homer who live reclusive lives in New York City. Both characters are eccentric and share a fascinating bond. Joanna Vanderham completes the cast as Milly; the character swans in and declares her love for Langley - who is seemingly somewhere on the autistic spectrum - and their planned wedding leads to various complications.
Scott and Dawson are both mesmerising; it is a treat to see such enthralling performances in a space so tiny. The Dazzle is a reminder of why 'Top Ten Performances of the Year' lists shouldn't be written until the year is actually over. Vanderham's character isn't as strong, yet she brings an interesting dynamic to proceedings.
Found111 is the perfect venue for The Dazzle's UK premiere; I see small shows regularly yet found myself sitting back each time an actor came close - the intimacy is stunning and heightens the intensity, I can't imagine the piece working as well in a larger venue. The cushioned wooden chairs aren't as uncomfortable as they look whilst the 71 steps up to the performance space and dimly lit bar set the mood perfectly, building anticipation.
The first act is slow in places; you have to be in it for the long run as the second act leads to a brilliant climax. Scott and Dawson's performances are worth the ticket price alone.
Reviewed by Andrew Tonlins
The Dazzle runs at Found111 until 30th January 2016.
Please visit www.TheDazzle.co.uk for further information and tickets.
Photo Credit: Marc Brenner