REVIEW: 2-FACES @ BARONS COURT THEATRE
📍 Barons Court Theatre, 28a Comeragh Road, London, W14 9HR
🗓 Thursday 27th July 2023
On Friday I was back at Barons Court Theatre for my third visit inside a week for 2-Faces, a play by Jasmine Dorothy Haefner which will be heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next month.
Described as a mad-cap comedy, I was looking forward to seeing this as the themes and the story seemed really interesting. Unfortunately I found the story and production rather lacklustre and uninspired.
The play is set in London in the 1990's and focuses on two Interpol agents who are investigating a series of high profile art thefts, whilst simultaneously committing the heists themselves!
On the back wall as the audience entered the space there was an explanation of the 2-Faces Lingo projected. This lingo was in fact cockney rhyming slang and when the play opens the characters are talking in this way. The central protagonists have just finished another successful heist and are congratulating themselves. This scene seemed very rushed indeed with a very questionable accent from Haefner! Also talking with a mouthful of chips made some lines hard to understand.
The story follows the characters portrayed by Haefner and Hassan Hope as they plot another heist as well as work hard on the Interpol team to disguise their crimes. Each played multiple roles throughout and I was impressed especially with Hassan's ability to change his voice, accent and characterisation with each role he took on.
There was also a good use of audio throughout, with perfectly timed door slams and other effects.
The big let down was unfortunately the story itself. I found the idea really good but unfortunately the execution, for me, was poor. The story lacked the intensity and adrenaline that it desperately needed, with the fight scenes being laughable but not comical.
My biggest dislike of the production was the scene changes. These took a very long time with text coming up on the back wall. I understand that the actors were changing costumes etc,, however I have seen many productions that do this a lot quicker and slicker than was on display here. Because some of the scenes were extremely short, the scene changes dominated the performance and quickly became tiresome and frustrating.
Much of the play seemed rushed, with the actors stumbling over lines on occasion and I was constantly wanting more. More drama, more excitement, more depth. Unfortunately for me this never came and I left the theatre feeling somewhat disappointed.
That being said, the actors seemed to give it their all and I was impressed with Hassan especially. I personally struggled to find why this play was described as a comedy and it's disjointed nature means it is a play that I wouldn't return to in its current format.
As always, these are my own personal views and I'm sure there will be many who disagree with them. If you're interested in checking out 2-Faces, it will be appearing at Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
All views are my own and I pride myself on being open and honest.
My ticket for this performance was gifted by Jasmine Dorothy Haefner who invited me to watch the show and to give my honest review. The fact that my ticket was gifted played no part in the star rating given or the content of my review.