By Sophia Whitfield
Director Sean Foley deftly brings Veberís classic French farce to the stage. Starring Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon, The Painkiller is the fourth play in the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Companyís six-play residency at the Garrick.
The play opens in two adjacent hotel rooms with an inter-connecting door. A high profile trial is unfolding and the streets below are packed with rowdy onlookers. Photographer Brian Dudley, played by Welsh comedian Rob Brydon, arrives in his hotel room desolate and pining for his ex-wife. He has been sent by the local paper in Swindon to join three hundred other photographers jostling for prime position to get visual documentation of the trial. But alone in his hotel room his mind is set on suicide.
As Dudley settles into despair his next-door neighbour arrives clad in a designer suit and carrying a machine gun. Ralph (Kenneth Branagh) is a hitman paid to take out the gangster on trial from his window, which has the best view of the throng below.
But against his better judgment Ralph is forced to babysit his suicidal neighbour. The result is high jinx comedy played with aplomb by Branagh and Brydon. Fraught scenes result when Dudley confronts his wife (Claudie Blakley) and her psychiatrist partner (Alex Macqueen). Identities are confused and Ralph is accidentally injected with horse tranquilizer. Clothes come off and Rob Brydonís briefest of briefs are on display for quite some time.
Itís terrific to see Shakespearean actor Branagh once again playing a comedic role. He does excel at it. The Painkiller is an enormously entertaining play.
By Sophia WhitfieldOn March 22, 2016
By Sophia WhitfieldOn December 9, 2014
Yesterday Baz Luhrmann announced further details of his Strictly Ballroom The Musical production. The show will feature many musical crowd favourites such as Love is in the Air, Perhaps Perhaps...On February 26, 2014
Originally from Perth, Sam's first professional role was Gunther Schultz in Channel 10's series, Fast Tracks. He completed a Bachelor of Arts at Curtin University, majoring in Film and Television...On August 14, 2014
We named it as one of our top ten teen movies. Letís face it; Clueless remains one of the most enduring movies of the 90s. We canít quite believe itís...On June 29, 2015
Brian Nankervis co-created and co-presents the †music quiz show RocKwiz on SBS. He is currently preparing for three†special live shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide this December to celebrate the...On October 17, 2013