Posts Tagged "the prisoner of second avenue"

Your Views: The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the Vaudeville Theatre

The Prisoner of Second Avenue opened at the Vaudeville Theatre on the Strand last night.

It’s a black comedy from the 1970s, by a top Broadway writer, Neil Simon. But the main draw for this new production has to be Hollywood star, Jeff Goldblum.

And in terms of laughs, Mr Goldblum certainly doesn’t disappoint. As Mel, a 47-year-old Manhattanite advertising executive on the brink of a breakdown, Jeff delivers every line with great comic timing.

He’s more than matched by a terrific performance from Mercedes Ruehl as Edna, his put-upon wife. The script zings with sharp one-liners, and definitely entertains. Ultimately, however, I found the overall plot was a bit lacking: The Prisoner of Second Avenue is very funny line by line, but the play doesn’t lead anywhere promising in the end.

But that’s just my view! I asked some other audience members what they thought:

Peter, 28, from South Africa
It’s a light-hearted look at a stressed-out couple. I enjoyed the show but I thought the narrative didn’t progress all that much and the comedy was a little forced at times. That said, there were some very funny moments and sparks of great acting throughout.

Nicola, 29, from South East London
A thoroughly enjoyable night out, which although not the funniest of scripts, entertains for the whole two hours. Jeff Goldblum is a little disappointing due to his reserved take on some scenes, but his pairing with Mercedes Ruehl is fab. Worth a watch if you’re looking for something witty that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

John, 30, from Northampton
I thought the two central performances were great. You just couldn’t take your eyes off Mercedes Ruehl and Jeff Goldblum.

Pauline, 30ish, from South East London
I enjoyed the show and am a fan of Jeff Goldblum’s work. The play looks at a married couple driven over the edge by the stresses of modern life; it’s both serious and funny, and is set in the heart of Manhattan madness.

Abby, 32, from London
Set against a back drop of recession, The Prisoner of Second Avenue is particularly relevant to the world today. The main characters have to come to terms with the socio-economic problems and changes of the day. Their increasing levels of stress are humorously portrayed and, although I thought Jeff Goldblum was overly theatrical at times, I thoroughly enjoyed the play.

Bec, 29, from Sydney
A particularly timely production, The Prisoner of Second Avenue was both a really funny night out and, considering it was initially penned in the 70s, incredibly resonant in today’s economic climate. I was really looking forward to seeing Jeff Goldblum on stage, and although his performance certainly didn’t disappoint, it was leading lady Mercedes Ruehl that really blew me away.

Have you seen the show yet? Let us know what you thought in the comments below.

The Prisoner of Second Avenue plays at the Vaudeville Theatre until 25 September. Book your tickets here