• Date:
    Friday, October 26, 2001


    Written by by Max Frisch 
    Director:Gregory Thompson 
    Producer:Young Vic / Royal National Theatre Studio. 
    Starring:Jack Shepherd, Alec Newman, David Annen, Aoife McMahon, Helene Patarot, Etela Pardo, Jem Wall, Stephen Casey, Badi Uzzaman, Morris Perry, Anthony Taylor, Matthew Fraser, Goran Kostic. 
    Synopsis:The play which is set in Andorra, a fictional place of no specific geographical location but one that bears obvious parallels with Europe during the 30's and 40's, centres on Andri, the illegitimate son of a school teacher. To save face the teacher falsely claims he has recued this young Jewish boy from across the border, and as the mood of the country changes, Andri is singled out.

    A round up of the press notices .....

    This production has received poor notices from the popular press....NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Even Gregory Thompson's sluggish, caricaturing production, with its failure to capture the play's satirical force and fury at the expense of truth-evaders, cannot altogether disguise Andorra's power." He goes on to say, "To give the play universality, a multi-racial cast has been recruited, but some of them are quite out of their depth. Jack Shepherd's Can, bellowing and farcically drunken, with self-consciously vacuous shrugs and odd hand and finger gestures, misses all the schoolteacher's guilty unhappiness." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says it is "cluttered and, as adapted by Michael Bullock and directed by Gregory Thompson, a bit of a chore". He goes on to say, "Max Frisch's moral fable Andorra has worn with age." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Andorra is absolutely terrible, a self-righteous tract that leaves you stupefied with resentment and boredom. It makes Bertolt Brecht's dreary political parables seem as subtle as Chekhov and as entertaining as Morecambe and Wise." He goes on, "Political correctness, in short, proves disastrously incorrect in the dramatic context of this dull, trite, horribly self-congratulatory play." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "The best feature of the evening is Francis O'Connor's set, in which a tiled square is surrounded by shuttered apartments, suggesting myriad prison cells.........But Frisch's play now feels like an overextended parable that doesn't so much develop as simply restate its unambiguous central idea. " PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Impressive production." He goes on to say, "Alec Newman makes a powerful, emotionally transparent Andri, journeying from a winning, open-hearted optimism, through the false security of hatred, to a kind of heroic fatalism when he refuses to capitalise on the revelation that he is not Jewish."

    Links to full reviews from newspapers...

    The Times
    The Guardian
    Daily Telegraph
    The Independent
    Evening Standard

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