Michael Simkins adaptation of the letters written by a father to his son takes us on a journey through the lives of Roger and Lupin. Lupin is a troubled and somewhat wayward character portrayed well by Jack Fox. Roger Mortimer is a witty chap with a dry and sometimes cutting sense of humour and James Fox does it justice.
Watching James get the opportunity to portray different characters was quite comical. There was the camp auctioneer, an army General, and a rather epic lady of the night. At the start Roger states he will partake – “as long as you don’t ask me to dance” – and ends up dancing.
Thankfully the part of Lupin is more than just the son who received the letters. Simkins has done a great job on expanding this role and we get to see Lupin’s journey through his troubles, ending with his stint in rehab.
The script is well written and there are laughs a plenty throughout the play. The end of the show gets the emotions flowing but up to that point didn’t evoke much emotion in me. I expected more pulling at the heartstrings but as the play is so funny it wasn’t until the emotion was evident that I realised there hadn’t been much beforehand. The part of Roger gets the best jokes but does lack somewhat in fatherly love.
The lighting complements the set and mood on stage well. For example the stark contrast between the Mastermind section where a single light is the focus, to blue lights flashing in the upper walls depicting the police.
Would I recommend it? Definitely, it wasn’t perfect but rather enjoyable nonetheless.
Review by Lee Cogger
Roger Mortimer’s often hilarious, sometimes touching, always generous letters to his son, Charlie, are packed with crisp anecdotes and sharp observations. The trials and tribulations of Charlie’s youth and adulthood are received by his father with both humour and resignation. Spanning twenty-five years, their correspondence forms a memoir of their relationship, an affectionate portrait of a time gone by.
Father and son James Fox and Jack Fox will star in this new stage adaptation by best-selling author Michael Simkins, in which he uncovers many more undocumented stories of Charlie’s wayward life and his relationship with his father.
Cast: James Fox as Roger Mortimer and Jack Fox as Lupin (Charlie Mortimer)
Writer Roger Mortimer & Charlie Mortimer
Stage Adaptor Michael Simkins
Director Philip Franks
Set & Costume Adrian Linford
Lighting Johanna Town
Apollo Theatre London
Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Age Restrictions: Recommended for ages 14+
Booking Until: 19th September 2015
Evenings: Monday to Saturday 7.45pm
Matinees: Thursday and Saturday 3.00pm
Tuesday 4th August 2015