It's time for my review of The Philanthropist.
This had been on my West End Wishlist since it first opened back in April and I was so excited to be taken to this as a surprise on my Birthday. I wasn't quite sure what to expect as the trailer for the show is great, but the reviews have been mixed. I am very pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it and that it was a lot of fun. The Philanthropist is utterly hilarious! The first act had punchline after punchline, every scene in act one got funnier and funnier (act two was a little more serious). I was laughing my socks off, as were the vast majority of the audience. The writing is extremely clever; it is clear that playwright Christopher Hampton is both funny & intelligent. His writing made me laugh out loud a lot, something which I find quite rare of certain comedies. Assisting the writing is the fantastic directing by Simon Callow. Simon Callow has done wonders with this show; it was very clear to me that he had made a large impact on this production. The cast are beyond phenomenal, there are no weak links. They were all on a par with each other (except for Simon Bird, who I'd have to choose as my favourite actor) and they complimented each other's talents nicely. All cast members had very good characterisations, which appeared to have been well thought out. The set, which has been designed by Libby Watson, has been done to perfection. It was extremely detailed and nothing was left out. The costumes, also designed by Libby Watson, were great, especially Matt Berry's costume. Matt Berry wore a purple velvet suit, and after I had seen the play I kept on referring to him as "The Purple Man". The final moment of the show was done brilliantly and it was nice that the final moment was a comedic one, contrasting the majority of act two, which had been fairly serious. On a related note, I felt act two's serious parts fell a little flat. The serious parts did not really work, considering act one had been a hilarious comedy with joke after joke, and I personally think they dragged on for too long. Perhaps it would have been best if the show had stuck with its comedic roots?
The featured star of The Philanthropist is, drum roll please... SIMON BIRD!
This was a cast full of remarkable performances, and yet I was still able to declare Simon Bird as my favourite, which shows he's certainly doing something right. He was absolutely perfect for the role of Phillip. He was the perfect leading man; he was brilliant from beginning to end.
Now for my final verdict on The Philanthropist. I give The Philanthropist...
I am extremely shocked and surprised that The Philanthropist received mixed reviews, as I thought it was a fantastic production. I would definitely recommend it for anyone wanting a fun afternoon/night out. I imagine that the show would do very well on tour, so who knows what the future for this show may be?
Think it should have got a higher rating? Agree with my rating? Think it should have got a lower rating? If so comment below.
Thanks for reading!