The Initial Charm Of The Diary Of A Nobody Wears Off Too Quickly

The Diary of a Nobody at King’s Head Theatre ★★☆☆☆

The Initial Charm Of The Diary Of A Nobody Wears Off Too Quickly The Diary of a Nobody at King’s Head Theatre 2

The Diary of a Nobody is one of those books you're convinced you've read, until you see it staged and realise that either you've forgotten it, or the director had a completely different idea. In the case of Rough Haired Pointer's revival at the King's Head, both.

It moves at a pace which manages to be both glacial and staccato, lurching from sketch to sketch like a Monty Python script done by amateurs. The four actors are far from amateurs but someone needs to release them to deliver the lines at a much sharper clip and not to pause for laughs that don't come.

The Diary of a Nobody, written by the Grossmith brothers in 1892, parodies the self-important diary format of Samuel Pepys while recording the extreme ordinariness of dreary suburbanites Mr and Mrs Pooter, for whom a visit from the butcher's boy with a leg of mutton is a highlight of their existence.  

Apart from Jake Curran as Mr Pooter, three guys play all the other parts, including Mrs Pooter — who really ought to be portrayed by a female.  Didn't Judi Dench have a good go at it once? Jordan Mallory-Skinner is not an improvement, nor is the concept that a broad-shouldered six-footer like George Wright should play the housemaid either cutting edge theatre or ribald wit.

The cartoonish setting has an initial charm, with costumes and set all in white outlined with black, but the music is intrusive to the point of annoyance and a running gag that the stage floods with red light every time someone mentions the ironmonger is the high point of a dull evening.  
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The Diary of a Nobody, King’s Head Theatre,Islington, N1.  Until 18 November. Tickets £15-£19.50.

Last Updated 08 November 2017