Curtains Up

Curtains Up: Review of Art

Chichester Festival Theatre
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Art is a phenomenon and one of the most successful comedies ever staged. Having opened in 1996, it took both the West End and Broadway by storm, won the Olivier, Tony, Molière and every other major theatre award, and has been packing in audiences worldwide for more than twenty years. When Serge spends an extortionate amount of money on an all-white modernist painting, his close friends Marc and Yvan are baffled. But does their violent reaction to this provocative canvas mirror more dangerous antagonisms towards each other? Yasmin Reza’s dazzling study of friendship, prejudice and tolerance is a masterpiece. The all-star cast features BAFTA-nominated Nigel Havers (Downton Abbey, Chariots of Fire), Olivier Award-winning Denis Lawson (Bleak House, New Tricks) and British Comedy Award-winning Stephen Tompkinson (The Split, Wild at Heart, Ballykissangel).

What The Press say:

“Stylish, stimulating, beautifully constructed” Mail on Sunday

“Art is a phenomenon” Times

“You’ll roar with laughter” New York Post

Our Reviewer says:

I feel terrible!  A play written more than 20 years ago which has received great critical acclaim starring three brilliant actors Nigel Havers , Denis Lawson and Stephen Tomkinson left me cold. I saw this at Chichester Festival Theatre in January and was bored silly. The acting was superb but an hour or just over of three  men talking about the merits of modern art did my head in! It’s probably fairer to say that this is a play about friendship between men rather than the merits or demerits of modern art. One of the trio  Serge buys an “all-white modernist painting”  and is criticised in earthy language  by his friends  Marc and Yvan for spending so much money . There is little or no action and I have to say that although it is billed as a comedy I only laughed once …… the noise of discarded olive stones being spat into a dish in a funeral silence! My fellow theatre goer felt exactly the same. The audience seemed to enjoy the play which is probably why I feel terrible!

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