Director: Samuel West
Samuel Barnett - Carl
Ross Boatman - Sweeney
Roger Lloyd Pack - Ash
Jay Simpson - Frankie
Malcolm Sinclair - Stephen
Stephen Wight - Mugsy
"...I was thrilled by this revival in the intimate space of the Menier Chocolate Factory... In Samuel West's direction, the play comes up fresh as a daisy and confirms my view that Patrick Marber is a playwright of huge talent..."
"...you'll be caught up in the mounting tension of Samuel West's excellent revival of this fast-paced drama..."
Rogues & Vagabonds
"...this production is beautifully directed and supremely well acted by all."
"If you can get in, I urge you to go and see the revival of Patrick Marber’s debut play Dealer’s Choice, directed by Samuel West at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Although this brilliant production is in fact transferring to the West End soon (Trafalgar Studios) the original venue is charming and complements the play (which is nominally about poker, but, typically of Marber, also deals with the emotional tension of human relationships) so well, it is worth begging for returns."
[from another review] "...Sam West has created a powerful, fleet-footed revival..."
"...Samuel West's absorbing and superbly cast revival..."
"...Samuel West gives a markedly humane tone to the micro-world of amateur gamblers in his Menier revival of Patrick Marber’s debut play..."
"...If one wanted proof of a play that was simply awaiting the right director to lay all its virtues bare, this is it. As for West, who knows how many more aces this fine actor turned top director holds up his sleeve?"
"...a beautifully pitched production by Samuel West..."
"...This excellent production of a smashing play deserves a full house every night."
"...Samuel West's explosively acted production..."
What's on stage
"...The proceedings are brilliantly directed by West..."
"...given tight direction by Samuel West..."
"...solid directing by Samuel West..."
"...The joy of West's production... lies in the quality of the performances..."
"...Samuel West’s superb revival..."
"...One thing this high octane play about masculinity, trust, aggression and loyalty needs is a crackling ensemble - and under the direction of Samuel West it fizzes like a Catherine Wheel..."
"...Samuel West, a poker player himself, directs a compelling production that captures the excitement of the game, Marber's often hilarious humour and the drama's sudden disconcerting glimpses of despair..."
"...Samuel West's gripping production of this psychological comedy..."
"...The play runs at well over two hours but it flits by, every moment used wisely..."
"...A winning flush of pure hilarity is what makes Samuel West’s revival of Patrick Marber’s blokeish debut irresistible..."
- Interview with Samuel Barnett [link]
- Times Online [link]
- A mention at whatsonstage [link]
- Patrick Marber interviews Telegraph|The London Paper|Time Out
- Excerpt from an article in Variety:
"...'Dealer's Choice,' his [Patrick Marber's] play about poker, originally produced at the National under [Richard] Eyre's aegis, has been given a sharp revival by Samuel West at the Menier Chocolate Factory...
West is particularly well suited to the material, not least because he used to play poker with Marber. And although he's wise to the fact that the first half is a tightly structured build-up to the second half's thrillingly extended poker game, his production makes auds understand that poker is the MacGuffin. 'Dealer's Choice' is really a startlingly powerful study of fathers and sons.
As a director (and, elsewhere, as an actor) West is stronger at suppressed rather than openly expressed emotion. The extraordinary gambling showdown between Malcolm Sinclair's father and Roger Lloyd Pack's professional gambler lacks the white-knuckle emotional tension of Marber's production. But West's trump card is his handling of the central paternal relationship.
Beneath their constant bickering, the bond between Sinclair and an ideally callow Sam Barnett as his son is powerfully affecting. Sinclair, all easy aloofness, gives a career-best perf, his glimpses of fatherly torment made all the more distressing by their restraint.
There's already talk of transfers for the show, possibly even to Gotham...."
whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice awards nominations [link]
Evening Standard Theatre Awards [link]
Menier Chocolate Factory
Samuel Barnett 1|2|3|4
Ross Boatman 1|2
Roger Lloyd Pack 1|2|3
Jay Simpson 1|2
Malcolm Sinclair 1|2
Stephen Wight 1|2|3