The bright lights of Hollywood are the name of the game in Giant Cherry Productions’ production of The Glass Protégé. The control of the big studios over their stars, the hidden homosexuality of actors and the dark side of movie business are all explored through the love story of two men in the 1940s and how they deal with their actions in their old age in the 1980s.
Dylan Costello’s script is full of vintage flavour and the scenes in 1940s Hollywood are dynamic and exciting. One or two extra scenes would have helped flesh out the female characters and give them a bit more depth, but the male characters are dynamic to hear. It is a shame then that the scenes in the present day don’t work quite as well, however the majority of this can be laid at the director’s feet.
The bare bones of tender and interesting scenes are there, but Matthew Gould’s direction means that these scenes warrant a fair amount of eye-rolling. Scenes are rushed through so quickly it feels bit like emotion by numbers and without pauses or contrasting pace, all the emotion from what should be heart-wrenching scenes is pushed to one side.
As the protégé Patrick Glass, David R. Butler, has a beautifully humble manner about him, which provides a gorgeous contract to the brash confidence of Alexander Hulme’s American star Jackson. Together, the pair have chemistry that fizzes over and they carry the central story with tenderness and heart. As the scandal-filled starlet, Emily Loomes, starts off as a frustratingly upbeat blonde bombshell lacking in bite, but by her final scene she brings out a trembling fragility filled with sadness. Paul Laver’s performance as the ageing Glass starts off strong, but unfortunately he is victim of Matthew Gould’s direction and towards the final scene he fails to break my heart like I wanted him to.
The Glass Protégé is a solid story and gives the audience just enough kick to keep them engaged in the action, but frustratingly there are too many missed opportunities to be outstanding. Just like Hollywood of the past, it’s a case of all that glitters isn’t gold.
Reviewed by Roz Carter
Photo: Mia Hawk
The Glass Protege is playing at the Park Theatre until 9 May 2015. Click here for tickets