Friday, 7 November 2014

I'll Eat You Last REVIEW, Nov 6, 2014

I’ll Eat You Last, by John Logan, by Melbourne Theatre Company

Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre Melbourne, opens Nov 6 to Dec 20, 204

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Stars: 3 &1/2
This review is not for Herald Sun. KH

Miriam Margolyes manages to be both charismatic and repulsive in her portrayal of colourful Hollywood agent, Sue Mengers.

Mengers was not only a successful agent, but also a rapacious consumer of drugs and alcohol, a venomous gossip and an avid follower of the careers of "Twinklies", as she calls movie stars.

Lounging on her sofa like a dangerous feline awaiting its prey, Margolyes teases and charms the audience, treating us as plebian guests in Mengers’ opulent living room in the hiatus before her real and famous dinner guests arrive.

In this solo shows directed by the talented Dean Bryant, Mengers spins tall tale and true of her childhood as a German-Jewish immigrant in New York, her ambitious and relentless ascent from admin assistant to sought-after agent.

She finally hints at the decline of her client list and this explains her anxiety and barely suppressed anger as she waits for a much-anticipated phone call from Barbra Streisand.

Margolyes feasts on the gossipy bitchiness and expletive-riddled dialogue written by John Logan.

In fact, her performance is often better than the dialogue itself that becomes repetitive.

Margolyes creates a frightening, bleached blonde and bejewelled gorgon who hides her better self beneath her voluminous caftan, foul mouth and ambitious attitude.

She is witty, impertinent and lures the audience into a sense of complicity that makes us think we are part of her inner circle – until she dismisses us summarily when she needs to dress for her fancy--pantsy dinner.

This is an entertaining piece that succeeds in the greater part because of Margolyes magnetic and impish performance. She is magic.

By Kate Herbert

Cast Miriam Margolyes
Director Dean Bryant; Set & Costume Designer Owen Phillips;
Lighting Designer Ross Graham; Sound Designer Russell
Goldsmith; Voice & Dialect Coach Leith McPherson
‘Buoyant, witty writing. A delectable soufflĂ© of a solo

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