Today, my lovely and wonderful friend Renuka gave me a free ticket to the West End play The Prisoner of Second Avenue, showing at the Vaudeville Theatre and starring Jeff Goldblum and Mercedes Ruehl. This fitted nicely with the goal I set myself of seeing one West End show per month while I am living in London. For those who know me well, it would come as no surprise that the monthly target is not so much to get me into the theatre but rather to restrain myself from blowing my food budget and rent on seeing shows every second day.
In May, in fact just two days after I landed in London, my housemate and I saw Les Miserable at Queen's Theatre, followed by dumplings at Ping Pong. In June, it was Grease at Piccadilly with a travel buddy from Morocco, also followed by dumplings at Ping Pong. Sadly, there were no dumplings to be had today, but we did have Pret's under the sun, on the lawns outside the British Museum. It was a perfect summer afternoon in London.
The Prisoner of Second Avenue is a black comedy, centred around the lives of a middle-aged couple in New York City who are coping with city life. Set completely in their small Second Avenue apartment, the strain and tension of their lives coupled with the noise and claustrophobia of their setting, provides a perfect platform on which to explore the couple's ability and attempts to survive this world they're in. This is indeed a comedy, and Goldblum and Ruehl deliver faultlessly and effortlessly throughout, though they never allow this to cut through the realness of its themes, thus allowing the show to speak a truth that is relatable to many.
The Prisoner of Second Avenue is showing at the Vaudeville Theatre until 11 September 2010. Go see it!