Lobby Hero

Previewed 4 April 2002, Opened 10 April 2002, Closed 4 May 2002 at the Donmar Warehouse
Previewed 26 June 2002, Opened 1 July 2002, Closed 10 August 2002 at the Ambassadors Theatre

Mark Brokaw's West End Premiere of Kenneth Lonerganís play Lobby Hero in London's West End for a strictly limited eight week run

Jeff, a feckless twenty-something, works the graveyard shift as a 'Security Specialist' in the lobby of a Manhattan high-rise. Between his complusive joking and inane chatter, he advises his law-abiding boss, William, about his brother's involvement in a local murder. Enter Dawn, an attractive rookie, with Bill, her over-sexed police partner, whose nightly tour to Apartment 22J ruptures their illicit affair. As the night wears on, the four become hilariously entangled in a web of compromising allegiances and betrayals.

The cast features David Tennant as 'Jeff', Gary McDonald as 'William', Charlotte Randle as 'Dawn' and Dominic Rowan as 'Bill - who all reprise their roles from the original Donmar Warehouse run. Directed by Mark Brokaw with designs by Robert Jones, lighting by Rick Fisher and sound by Fergus O'Hare. Co-author of Martin Scorsese's forthcoming film Gangs of New York, Kenneth Lonerganís other credits include the stage play This Is Our Youth and the Oscar nominated film You Can Count On Me.

"Until about halfway through Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero you'd be forgiven for thinking that it was a comedy. The lobby is in a Manhattan apartment block where a young man called Jeff works on the night shift as a security guard. He is a potential lost soul, much too bright for the job; he has a compulsion to crack jokes even when they are not appreciated... Drama thrives on juicy moral dilemmas, but it has a way of simplifying them for the sake of dramatic effect. One of the things that makes Lobby Hero so impressive is that without in any way blunting the excitement Lonergan allows fully for mixed motives and ambivalent feelings. Your toes curl and your fingers tighten as you see what is happening but you can't say it is necessarily wrong... An all-English cast, directed by Mark Brokaw, work wonders with some intensely American material. David Tennant as Jeff is perhaps the least at ease with the Americanness of his role, but he is so good in other respects - so jumpy, so smart, so perplexed, so attractive - that it doesn't matter. Elsewhere Gary McDonald as William and Dominic Rowan as Bill both establish strong presences, while it is hard to believe that Charlotte Randle as Dawn isn't the real NYPD thing." The Sunday Telegraph

"Plays can be like troops behind enemy lines: they can creep up on you. One manoeuvre is to lull you into a sense of superiority by pretending to be companionable. There is a casual air to such plays: they are almost ingratiating. No big deal. It's only a story. This is the feeling you get during the first 30 minutes or so of Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero. This is a risky strategy: you can be so laid-back that you lose your audience. But for Lonergan it is crucial: what he is writing about is embedded in the very ordinariness of his setting and the cliche-driven language of his characters. What keeps you from getting too laid-back is the sheer drive and lilt of the writing, the sense of playing fireworks with the commonplace. It has a touch of Mamet about it, but without Mamet's menacing musicality and his way of becoming obstreperously poetic from time to time. No, Lonergan remains feisty and cheery, but low key. It is the accuracy of rhythm and phrase that holds your attention... Mark Brokaw, who directed the play's off-Broadway premiere two years ago, matches Lonergan's writing in tactics, cunning and subversive everyday eloquence. The four actors, all British, come across as New Yorkers born, bred and driven. The accents are near-perfect." The Sunday Times

"David Tennant is superb as Jeff, our engagingly goofy, diffident and yet nicely ironic security doorman working nights in a Manhattan apartment building. He stumbles innocently between rookie cop Dawn and her dominating, two-timing male partner, and becomes embroiled in his boss's dilemma about whether to provide an alibi for his brother, who has been arrested for a rape and murder he probably committed. The play works as an expose of the chauvinism, hypocrisy and corruption within the New York police and an examination of the point at which morality tests the limits of friendship and brotherly love, switching with delightful ease from dark to light, provocative to flippant. Serious fun." The Mail on Sunday

Lobby Hero in London at the Donmar Warehouse previewed from 4 April 2002, opened on 10 April 2002 and closed on 4 May 2002, transferred to the Ambassadors Theatre previewed from 26 June 2002, opened on 1 July 2002 and closed on 10 August 2002