Since The Mentalists premiered at the National Theatre in the summer of 2002, playwright Richard Bean has catapulted from 'one to watch' to full blown theatre royalty, with a steady stream of blockbuster shows from Harvest (Royal Court, 2005) to the unstoppable success of One Man, Two Guvnors (National Theatre 2011, still touring).
Last year alone saw Bean headlining the National once again with Great Britain, a snappy satire on the phone-hacking scandal which then arrived on the West End at the same time as a musical adaptation of hit film Made In Dagenham. Now, this revival allows us to return to the early comedy, which, Bean says will be 'even more relevant in an election year than when I wrote it."
The Mentalists play
Two men are cooped up together in a Finsbury Park hotel room with a grand plan to record a message that will change the world -- which falls apart with side-splitting consequences. Playrwright Bean describes the themes as 'the perceived decline of social values... the rise of fringe parties and a very personal view of politics', making The Mentalists' revival, particularly timely and politically resonant. But, as you'd expect from Richard Bean, serious themes don't negate the comedy, and this two-hander is at its funniest when uncovering the unlikely friendship between the two characters, who egg each other on hilariously.
Stephen Merchant: Theatre debut
Comic actor and frequent collaborator with Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant (The Office, Hello Ladies, Extras) will make his West End debut in The Mentalists. Merchant wryly describes this move from the small screen to the stage as 'doing proper acting' and with a stronghold in quirky comedy, he is sure to bring out the side-splitting humour of Bean's script. Starring alongside him is Gavin and Stacey's Steffan Rhodri, whose West End experience includes Ackybourn's Absent Friends (Harold Pinter Theatre, 2012) and Laura Wade's Posh (Duke of York's Theatre, 2012).
|What||The Mentalists, Wyndham's Theatre|
32 Charing Cross Road, London, WC2H 0DA | MAP
|Nearest tube||Leicester Square (underground)|
03 Jul 15 – 29 Aug 15, 7:45 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£12 - £99|
|Website||Click here to book via Delfont Mackintosh Theatres|