A masterpiece by Edward Albee paired with the ultimate cast makes for an intense yet captivating show.
The dark comedy channeling Greek tragedies’ connections to the taboo subject of bestiality is spellbinding. What a privilege to sit for two hours (without an interval) and watch Damian Lewis never leave the stage. His performance of Martin, an extremely successful architect, who subsequently admits to having an affair with the infamous ‘Sylvia’ is flawless. No surprise to see him use his, ‘practiced to perfection’, American accent once again while executing the perverse yet pitiful nature of Martin without fault. Devastatingly for the wife, played by the truly mesmerising Sophie Okonedo , Sylvia is a goat. Sophie’s performance, in my opinion, steals the show. Her dedication to embody the torment and stress of a wife left without a stable relationship is incredible. In moments of total chaos she portrays subtle humour, love and to some degree forgiveness.
‘The Goat’ provokes many issues including the destruction of an ‘ideal’ family unit, homosexuality and not forgetting bestiality.
Albee enlightens the audience with his reference to Greek tragedies and their connection to the downfall of strong, successful men such as Martin, all due to a mistake or lack of judgement. The comedic nature of the play helps us disassociate ourselves from the chaos of the situation. Billy, played by Archie Madekwe, also adds this element; from swearing to voicing what would be going through any teenager’s mind, Archie delivers a fantastic debut theatre performance. Despite being emotionally challenging, every actor having experienced their own personal/internal struggles, which has resulted in convincing performances all round. As an audience we almost cried with them….
Overall “The Goat or who is Sylvia” challenges many issues and certainly doesn’t help us get any closer to discovering why Martin’s boat stays afloat by a goat. GET YOURSELF to the theatre and prepare to giggle, gasp, and shed a tear or two.
Scene it Tip 1: Turn off your phones so you’re not the person in the stalls making Damian Lewis break character and shout “Are you gonna get that”!
Scene it Tip 2: Pay attention to the level of detail all the actors focus on. It’s the little things that create realistic performances.
Scene it Tip 3: Go check out the theatre’s website Theatre Royal Haymarket . They always do cheap tickets (up in the Gods) and yes, you can actually see the stage!