REVIEW: Our Man In Havana, Grand Theatre, Blackpool

The cast of Our Man In Havana
The cast of Our Man In Havana
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Actor and writer Clive Francis created this stage adaptation of Graham Greene’s spy and skulduggery satire 10 years ago.

He’s an elegant farceur himself so quickly realised the theatrical possibilities of having just four cast members play nearly 30 characters between them.

As if that were not enough, they also all rotate the role of narrator, shift the furniture (some of it bulky enough for Pickfords!) between dozens of scene changes, and cope with fairly vivid mood swings as a labyrinthine plot takes turns to be comedic, romantic, chaotic or just plain melodramatic.

So it might seem cruel to suggest that the hard-working cast here also need to make it all rather more frantic, in a performance demanding much more pace. For on the occasions when Isla Carter, Charles Davies, James Dinsmore and Michael Onslow find funny in the physical, then Our Man finds his rhythm...

In place of all that interruptive narration give us more ‘show’ than ‘tell’!

Nina Raines’ simple yet evocative design is an effective backdrop but on this occasion even the Grand’s stage confines looked like a wide open space, where stage ‘flats’ in the wings could have created more Cuban-style intimacy.

David Upton