The Royal Court
With a big name at the forefront of the cast bill, a huge Doctor Who fan such as myself was irritatingly excited by the prospect of seeing such a formidable actor as Matt Smith in the flesh. To expand on my use of ‘irritatingly’ – as one who believes that you should credit a show on the talent and not on the fame of the actors, I could not help but be intrigued by comparing the number 11 Doctor to the new character on stage.
A very simplistic stage representing the back stage of a film set, this minimalist approach to set was well orchestrated in mirroring the comical and at times satirical narrative, picking upon often lavish and over the top Hollywood approaches to hit films.
Unreachable follows the storyline of a creative yet challenged director and his search for the perfect light for a wonderful film; this is of course against those with less genius who want to film a film and be done with it, ranging from an actress who suffers from a lack of empathy, a mother like figure yet strong independent female producer, a bumbling yet lovable camera man, a eccentric and crazed actor and finally a corporative supervisor. All have the common feeling of a film being like any other and the need and want for completion, there are at times similarity in the Director and his creative search and our eccentric actor who believes everything is ‘filth’ and uncreative. This hilarious character is nothing but a pleasant addition to the cast, bringing in a loud, obnoxious and thoroughly side splitting array of metaphors along with pure energy constantly throughout the piece.
Of course, we cannot go through without a comment on Matt Smith. Those who have only seen him in Doctor Who may find themselves a little disappointed by the lack of difference between his character in Unreachable and the TV show. However, such similar characters are hard to differentiate. Both vulnerable, a little odd and in need of some company but not admitting to this. Smith bounces around, is kind and sweet but also childlike. Difference being that he has little authority in this production compared to the Doctor; he needs people around him, he needs the companionship and is lost, when the Doctor needs this without realising, pushing those around him away. When you compare these, they are different and he does amazingly well to make this subtle difference. Once seeing him in an array of other roles, you do know he is not a one trick pony, but just a sufferer of casting a similar part.
During Unreachable, there were moments of corpse-ing and times of possible breaking away from the story and direction. This did nothing but make this comedy even more funny, and showed a great relationship between characters, actors and that they were enjoying the production. Nothing is worse than a performer obviously going through the motions – such fun an interesting writing, such wonderful and comical direction, it was a joy and wonderful to see the actors finding the play just as funny as we did.
We felt a part of something special. We did not want to leave. We only wanted to be a part of their world forever.