Step Aside Moriarty
Andrew Scott’s performance of ‘Sea Wall’ at the National Theatre was a class in simple yet magnificent theatre.
The audience circled the actor on three sides; the balcony seats, which would often give a great view of the actors’ hair line and nothing else, were in this case just as good a view as anywhere else. This was largely achieved by the ease at which Scott eyed his audience both during and before the performance. A gentle smile or look of confirmation towards his audience kept everyone listening to every word of his half an hour monologue. Of course, it was not only the acting that clung to the audience as they left, but also the clever but very subtle and natural writing by Simon Stephens. When you can watch and sympathise with a person in front of you and feel like the performance element has disappeared from the stage, then you have found brilliant theatre. The play toys with a heart wrenching storyline without being over dramatic as husband and father, Alex, discusses (as if with friends) some enjoyable yet also painfully defining life experiences.
Andrew Scott successfully transforms from Moriarty, his BAFTA award winning role in the BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ which brought him into the public eye, and we are sure to see much more of him, or at least we can only hope!
Image curtesy of, theguardian.com/culture/2009/aug/12/sea-wall-heaven-fringe-review