Tuesday, November 22, 2022
HomeTheatreEvaluation: Tom Hollander in Patriots, Almeida Theatre

Evaluation: Tom Hollander in Patriots, Almeida Theatre

Confession: I sat down to look at the Patriots on the Almeida, not realising that the central character Boris Berezovsky (Tom Hollander) was primarily based on an actual particular person. 🤦🏻  The penny drop second got here when a personality beforehand known as ‘The Child’ was launched as Roman Abramovich (Luke Thallon).

Patriots poster

Poster for Patriots, Almeida Theatre July 2022

Peter Morgan’s play follows Berezovsky from his place as an influential oligarch who helps to place Vladimir Putin (Will Eager) in energy to public enemy and exile.

He has a intelligent thoughts, a pointy tongue and isn’t shy of dropping f-bombs. Whereas his main motivation, he tells us, is doing what’s finest for his nation, his vanity says one thing barely totally different. And that vanity blinds him or skewers his judgement and results in his downfall.

Tom Hollander performs Berezovsky with wit and swagger; it’s a star efficiency (he received a standing ovation on the finish) however not a shocking efficiency.  

Putin is the one different character that has some traction within the play and is expertly performed by Eager. He actually embodies the character presenting an uncanny likeness that’s fairly disconcerting.

Wasted character

It is comparable for Thallon, he does bear an uncanny resemblance to the person he’s taking part in. Nonetheless, his character feels wasted, with little for Thallon to essentially get his tooth into, notably given the meatier roles he is had not too long ago (Camp Siegfried and After Life).

There are a complete bunch of different characters – mom, trainer, safety guard and many others – which do not actually depart sufficient of a mark on the narrative to really feel warranted.

Amongst them are a number of tertiary feminine characters, which was a bit disappointing – we have had sufficient performs with ladies on the periphery.

At its coronary heart is an fascinating exploration of patriotism. Berezovsky and Putin say they’re motivated by doing what’s finest for Russia however what they imagine is finest may be very totally different and formed by their persona and private acquire.

Laughs and F-bombs

There are laugh-out-loud moments courtesy of Berezovsky’s sharp retorts, insults and sometimes underpinned by a great dollop of F-bombs. Hollander’s supply of an F-bomb is to be applauded.

However that is additionally a critical, darkish play that feels slowed down in pointless gildings and extraneous element. There may be not sufficient to correctly draw out the element of the primary characters and an excessive amount of of every little thing else.

You may’t assist however make comparisons with James Graham’s political performs (This Home and Better of Enemies), which felt punchier.

I am giving Patriots ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Patriots, Almeida Theatre

Written by Peter Morgan

Directed by Rupert Goold

Working time: 2 hours and 40 minutes, together with an interval (this was throughout preview)

Reserving till 20 August, for extra particulars and tickets, go to the Almeida web site

Not too long ago reviewed:

The Seagull, Harold Pinter Theatre ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Fellowship, Hampstead Theatre ⭐️⭐️





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