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A Few Good Men December 16, 2005

Posted by ayasawada in Culture.
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Thankfully, I managed to catch Aaron “The West Wing” Sorkin’s fabulous military drama before it’s final curtain at the West End this week. I’m very glad I went, if only to receive a decent theatre programme for once: glossy cover, interesting background info on Guantanomo Bay, the US military and Sorkin’s inspiration. Far better than the usual crap you pay a fiver for. The play was pretty good too.

I was perhaps the only person in the audience who hadn’t seen the movie version. Unfortunately the reputation of the film brings the heavy image of Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson to mind. This was countered somewhat by the presence of Rob “Sam Seaborne” Lowe in the London cast, but even he had his ‘Tom Cruise’ moments and you can’t hear “You can’t handle the truth!” with a straight face these days. Nevertheless, it remains a strong story with plenty of contemporary relevance. Will America ever resolve the difference between the Constitution and the means of maintaining it? What did surprise me was how humourous the play was, with plenty of the trademark Sorkin one-liners. I can’t help but wonder what this would be like starring some of the West Wing cast. Some of the cast seemed a tad forced in their delivery, when they weren’t distracting with their off-kilter American accents. Even Lowe sounded fake at times – and he’s actually American.

Overall, the strength of the play wins out, particularly with some imaginative set-design and lighting. Now I’m itching to see the movie.

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