What a lovely and touching way to spend an evening at the theatre is the first and most important thing that I have to say about this production.
Based on the best selling book by Roger and Charlie Mortimer, it is a story of a relationship between a father and his son through its highs and lows told with a mixture of humour but also with genuine affection.
Starring James and Jack Fox (yes a real father and son duo – making it even more special to watch), the story of Roger Mortimer and Charlie Mortimer is told (as in the book) through a series of letters – filled with wit and sharp observations.
I may not have got around to reading the book as of yet (it is now on my to read list), I really felt that I was able to get a sense of the characters and like them immensely despite how completely different they were despite being related.
James Fox’s character Roger can come across as quite pompous but you still can’t help but warm to him because of the obvious affection that he has for his son. Meanwhile Jack’s character Charlie is a bit of hopeless drifter – not sure which direction he is going to take his life in next but again is likeable not only because of his desire to make his dad proud of him but also because of his wanting to protect his father from the problems that Charlie has.
The first half is filled with warmth and humour that delights the audience, but the second half is more poignant and even sombre in feeling. But by this stage the audience has completely warmed up to the characters that they deeply care about what happens to them. The final scene is one of the most emotional that I have witnessed on stage and that is not an exaggeration.
Michael Simkins and Philip Franks both have created a show that is clever, witty and something that everyone who sees it can relate to in some form.
Although overall the show flows well and moves from scene to scene effortlessly, I did feel as though there were some sticky moments and lack of energy in places (but it was the first performance – 30th July I went to see it) and I’m sure that will be sorted as the production continues its run.
A lovely two-hander that for me works better than The Mentalists did (sorry Richard Bean and co.) having more humour and more affection. A beautiful performance overall.
*On a side note during curtain call I could have sworn (I was sitting two rows from the front) that Jack said to his dad that he loved him – which made me smile.
Thank you to Seat Plan for my tickets!
Dear Lupin continues to play at the Apollo Theatre until the 19th September.