Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Amanda Donohoe In Star Quality At Nottingham Theatre Royal REVIEW

On paper, it all sounded too delicious for words, the UK tour premiere of a Noel Coward satire set behind the scenes of a West End play, starring Golden Globe winner Amanda 'Pulled Adam Ant at 15/Naked Castaway/Legendary LA Law Lesbian' Donohoe. An evening of witty, erudite theatre and Hollywood fabulousness would be in store for sure...

There's no nice way of saying it sure wasn't. Amanda Donohoe has an illustrious track record in film, television and theatre but last night she was visibly struggling to perform right from her first entrance. Unsure of herself and her part and needing prompting, she even broke a sacred Theatre Law and called out 'Line!' when she forgot her words again midway through a major speech in the second act, something we've never, ever seen in a professional production. We don't know why it all went so wrong, it could well have been a very unlucky one-off, or a chronic case of first-night nerves, she could get herself back to her usual top, top form for the rest of the run and we really hope she does because it all made for rather uncomfortable viewing.

And what of the play itself? Confidentially, we find it hard it to believe this was really a Noel Coward play at all. It wasn't funny, it wasn't clever, it was just a rather ordinary play-within-a-play without a single quotable line or one particularly memorable character. There was, however, one shining little star, displaying great promise in his all-too-brief appearances on the stage, giving a relaxed and confident performance. Bothwell the dog, Amanda Donohoe's character Lorraine Barrie's pet, played a sweet and well-behaved little cutie, stealing the show and adding very welcome awww-factor.

All in all, a sadly disappointing night. Amanda, we hope you get your mojo back, Noel, you've let us down mate. Bothwell the dog-  extra walkies for you, poppet.

Star Quality is at Nottingham's Theatre Royal until Oct 15, running time is 145 minutes, full details can be found at

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