Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Review: The Spoils at Trafalgar Studios

The Spoils
Trafalgar Studios
Reviewed on Thursday 2nd June 2016

Jesse Eisenberg is a man of many talents - it's quite something to make your West End debut in the European premiere of your hit off-Broadway play. The Spoils centres around Eisenberg's character Ben who, despite having had a lot handed to him on a plate, is deeply unhappy with his life. 

He treats his roommate/best friend Kalyan poorly, constantly battles with Kalyan's partner and reaches new lows when he tries to win over his now-engaged school crush. The piece takes a long time to set up and establish itself; I found the first two (of three) scenes in the first act slow paced and a little tiresome. However, as a dinner party erupts at the end of the first act things get a little more exciting.

Eisenberg gives a strong performance. He provides a real insight into Ben's twisted mind - he's a fascinating character. The entire ensemble are on top form; original U.S. cast members Annapurna Sriram and Kunal Nayyar bring an exciting spark to the stage, Alfie Allen proves himself as a capable character actor with good comic timing and Katie Brayben reminds us just how versatile she is. 

The Spoils is enjoyable, easy watching but it isn't cutting-edge, razor-sharp theatre that will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. It's something I would happily watch on telly for a few hours – Eisenberg is certainly a huge talent. I love that The Spoils is bringing new audiences to the theatre, it’s nice to see a different style of comedy being reflected on stage.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

The Spoils runs at Trafalgar Studios to 13th August 2016.
Please visit www.atgtickets.com for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Oliver Rosser 

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