The Old Vic, December 15, 2016

Tim Key, Rufus Sewell and Paul Ritter

Three friends in a minimalist 16ème appartment. Three very different lives and opinions drawn into personal conflict because of a modernist painting. Something that allows their friendship to unravel before us, each scene revealing new depths to which their arguments have sunk.

The play deconstructs friendship and whilst the dialogue is sometimes a wee too dense, it never borders on “Islington dinner party”. It’s too funny for that and it doesn’t take itself that seriously.

The staging is completely brilliant. The use of colour, or not, is incredible. Was there a nod to the colours of the Pixar film Inside Out at the end? I thought so and I loved it.

I also loved the use of furniture to express the character traits of each of the friends. The Eames Barcelona, the modernist; the Louis XV dining chair, the traditionalist and the Ikea armchair, the cheap comfortable.

Sewell leads the cast as the pompous Serge, Paul Ritter is wonderful as Marc, the angry traditionalist but Tim Key steals the show as Ivan the downtrodden and depressed. Ivan’s line that he wants to be friends not a point of reference or an authority on something is funny and poigniantly delivered. In fact Key reminded me a bit of Rory Kineear in his self depricating style.

5/5. Inside Out for Adults

Like what you read? Give Janet Hitchen a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.