Rocket To the Moon
In Clifford Odets’ 1938 Depression era drama, browbeaten, married New York dentist Ben (excellent Joseph Millson) is pushing 40 and doesn’t have the guts to offer his sexy new secretary Cleo more than a naïve closet love.
His wily father-in-law (a charismatic Nicholas Woodeson), captivated by her youth, can provide wealth and experience, whilst a lecherous fellow tenant sees only a would-be show girl on the make.
Unfortunately Jessica Raine’s Cleo adopts a voice so grating it’s surprising any of them stick around long enough to discover that, beneath her alluring exterior, there’s a vulnerable young woman unable to fulfil their desires, or even her own.
The Hopper influenced design emphasises the loneliness inherent in this potentially poignant play, but, despite some clever dialogue, the production burns far too slowly.
Lyttelton at the National, South Bank, SE1 9PX
(020 7452 3000)
Until June 21
£12 – £45
– Louise Kingsley