The Hudsucker Proxy

A Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse and Nuffield, Southampton co-production in association with Complicite
Directed by Simon Dormandy & Toby Sedgwick
Liverpool Playhouse
5th - 27th June 2015

Reviewed by Colin Serjent
Photograph by Clare Park

Not having seen the 1994 version of the Coen Brothers film on which this play is based, I am unable to compare or contrast the two productions.

Nevertheless if the movie measures up to the impressive standard of the theatre piece - it is a joy to watch throughout - I must watch the celluloid version pronto!.

It is based upon the highly unlikely rise to power in 1958 of a post room clerk Norville Barnes (Joseph Timms) to the position of president at Hudsucker Industries, a big corporation, as part of a scam to significantly lower the firm's share price. Times never change!

Highly praiseworthy are the eye-catching and innovative sets, including filing cabinets turning into drink dispensers, seeing inside the workings of the company's clock tower, film projections (I loved the newsreel of old style printing presses) and an atmospheric manifestation of Manhattan.

in regard to the latter set, particularly memorable was Barnes and journalist Amy Archer (Sinead Matthews), who, unbeknown to to the guy had exposed him as an imbecile in the local newspaper, looking down on New Year's Eve party revellers, describing them as 'ants'.

Within a versatile cast - some of the actors played up to three different roles - the funniest part was played by Buzz (Tim Lewis), as well as occupants of the lift he was in charge of, spanning up to 45 floors, enacting notable mime when going up or down inside the building. Ingenious. Just like the play as a whole.

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