Theatre Review: Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Posted on: 13 October 2009 by Mark O'haire

Laurence Green reviews Breakfast at Tiffany’s which has come to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in a new production adapted from Truman Capote’s novel by Samuel Adamson.

Take a small quantity of champagne, add a combination of wit, wisdom and sophistication and you have a heavy cocktail that is Breakfast at Tiffany’s which has come to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in a new production adapted from Truman Capote’s novel by Samuel Adamson.

The place is New York, the time is 1934, William “Fred” Parsons, an ambitious young writer from Alabama, meets Holly Golightly, a charming, vivacious and utterly elusive good-time girl (‘I can’t get excited by a man until he’s 42!’) who is being pursued by Mafia gangsters and playboy millionaires.

Indeed everyone falls in love with Holly, including William – but he is poor and Holly needs rich. Will she marry Rusty, the playboy millionaire, or Jose, the future president of Brazil? As war rages in Europe, Holly begins to fall in love with William – and then her past catches up with her.

Slickly staged on a rotating, rising and lowering set that evocatively conveys New York at a time when the martinis flew from cocktail hour till breakfast, this version sticks closer to the Capote novel than the 1961 film and emerges as a light-headed, frothy comedy which manages to be both silly and clever, funny and dramatic but with occasional longeurs.  It nonetheless gives a revealing insight into the flaws and foibles of human nature.

Director Sean Mathias extracts a sexy and energetic performance from Anna Friel, in the role of the determined, outspoken Holly, a woman with an infectious desire to constantly have fun, a part which propelled Audrey Hepburn to stardom in the film. Good support is provided by Joseph Gross as the penniless writer who becomes her biggest fan.

Judging by the reaction of the packed theatre on the night I attended, this may be just the tonic in these tough economic times.

Where: Theatre Royal Haymarket

When: Plays until 9 January

Box Office: Call 0845 481 1870 or book your tickets online by clicking here.

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