Heavens of Invention

Heavens of Invention was a double bill of one man plays by Mark Burgess that I saw in the foyer of the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch. I have visited this theatre several times but this was the first time I had ever seen a show in the foyer: it was a very pleasant experience as I was able to relax on a sofa, and the curtained off space made for a more intimate evening.

The first show, Larry, starred Keith Drinkel as Laurence Olivier. I was intrigued to see this show as I am always interested to learn more about the actor. There were some interesting facts but overall I felt the show was too descriptive: I would have rather had fewer facts and a more imaginative story. However, it was interesting to learn about Olivier’s hopes and fears, his illnesses, his film and TV roles and his co-stars.

By contrast, the second play, The Man With the Golden Pen, was imaginative and excellent. Starring Michael Chance as Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, it let us into Fleming’s house in Jamaica, Goldeneye, in which he penned the novels. He talked as if to 007 himself, which lent the piece honesty and authenticity. Layered and thought-provoking, it was an interesting insight into Fleming’s life. Overall, a worthwhile evening.

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