National Theatre Live: All About Eve (2019) Review

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Cast

Margo Channing – Gillian Anderson
Eve Harrington – Lily James
Karen Richards – Monica Dolan
Max Fabian – Ian Drysdale
Phoebe – Tsion Habte
Claudia Caswell – Jessie Mei Li
Bill Sampson – Julian Ovenden
Birdie – Sheila Reid

Performance Date: Thursday 11th April 2019
Theatre: Noel Coward

All About Eve based upon the film from 1950 which was based on a short story. Therefore the third version of the what I would now love to call the timeless tale. Watching this really did clarify that times have not really changed very much and people are still obsessed with age and being loved.

Margo Channing is a Broadway mega star and everything changes one evening when Eve Harrington turns up and has a very sad story and background. Claiming that watching Margo on stage is her only happiness. Karen Richards brings the young woman into contact with Margo and this sets in place a series of events when Eve begins to do everything for her idol. Little did they know of her dream as an actress.

While this is based on a film from 1950 the short story The Wisdom of Eve was from 1946. So remarkable that now in 2019 that we still need this story so much, Also to show that women have always had interesting roles and characters. But with that showing that ageing is still something of a worry and always being scared of a younger version coming in and being a replacement. That is what Margo must attempt to deal with when the much younger Eve comes into her life. Seeming to be so innocent and perfect, never underestimate a woman who knows exactly what she wants.

I really do wish I could have witness this truly incredible piece of theatre live and not in the cinema. I do adore that National Theatre Live put on these productions when London trips are not possible for West End shows. It means we still get to see amazing productions, I was so blown away by this that I would really love to see it in the actual theatre. Maybe I could get lucky with a ticket when I head to London in a few weeks?

Before the production started we got to see a short film with director Ivo van Hove, which really was very interesting and really helped to set the scene as his passion to do the production made me even more excited to watch it. I loved the addition of the screens when characters were using the mirror or in the bathroom, no hiding place at all on the stage, constantly in view. Surely that is how a celebrity or famous actress must feel most of the time? I just felt that really did add something so special and unique.

This is the second time I have seen a National Theatre Live production with Gillian Anderson in a leading role, which I am starting to think means I really should actually see her on stage from inside a theatre. She is a brilliant actress, taking on the role of Margo Channing cannot be easy following on from Bette Davis and playing the rather paranoid and self obsessed character. I guess we can really understand how she freaks out and never thinks she is good enough, especially in her relationship with Bill, always expecting him to leave her.

Lily James is an actress I have seen in quite a few films in recent years so it was wonderful to see her in this challenging role of Eve, pushing herself and the boundaries of a character. It really was special to watch. The chemistry between James and Anderson worked out in such a fantastic manner.

I did feel though that Monica Dolan as Karen was an absolute scene stealer. Narrating the story as well as playing a very key role in the breakdown and build up of scenes.

I really did love everything about this and thought the acting was top class from the whole cast, with a running time of two hours without an interval and with the main cast members very rarely off stage it was an amazingly different production and I am so pleased I had the chance to see it!

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