The Mentor

Vaudeville Theatre
The Strand, London

Public Previews: 24 June 2017
Opens: 4 July 2017
Closes: 2 September 2017

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Nearest Tube: Charing Cross / Covent Garden

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Theatre seating plan

Show times
Monday at 7.45pm
Tuesday at 7.45pm
Wednesday at 7.45pm
Thursday at 3.00pm and 7.45pm
Friday at 7.45pm
Saturday at 3.00pm and 7.45pm
Sunday no shows
Note: Tue 4 July at 7.00pm only

Runs 90 minutes with no interval

Seat prices
£? to £? (plus booking fees if applicable)

The Mentor

A major production of Daniel Kehlmann's comedy The Mentor in London translated by Christopher Hampton and starring F Murray Abraham - transfers to London following a run at the Theatre Royal Bath

Two egotistical writers who are forced together in a villa in the German countryside. Benjamin Rubin, a cantankerous old writer and whiskey aficionado who is still basking in the reflected glory of a long-ago success, is forced to mentor Martin Wegner, a rising literary star who is hailed as the ‘voice of his generation’. A comedy about art and artists and the legacy of fame.

The cast features F Murray Abraham as 'Benjamin Rubin' and Daniel Weyman as 'Martin Wegner' with Naomi Frederick as his wife 'Gina' and Jonathan Cullen as the literary agent 'Erwin' - who are all reprising their roles from the Theatre Royal Bath season. Play by Daniel Kehlmann, translated by Christopher Hampton. Directed by Laurence Boswell with designs by Polly Sullivan, lighting by Colin Grenfell and music by Dave Price. PLEASE NOTE: The age recommendation for this production is 12 and above.

When this production opened at Bath Theatre Royal's Ustinov Studio in April 2017, Michael Billington in the Guardian comment that that, "even if the play's arguments about the subjectivity of art and the uncertainty of experience are familiar, the play is full of prickly comedy and offers 90 minutes of civilised pleasure... Laurence Boswell’s production plays up the comedy and gets good performances all round." Dominic Maxwell in the Times wrote: "An Oscar winner for his Salieri in Amadeus and a delectably nasty CIA black ops director in several seasons of Homeland, now F Murray Abraham is proving less deadly but just as calculating in this literary comedy by Daniel Kehlmann" that "allows Abraham to do what he does better than anyone: to blur the line between meanness and mischief, between the seductive and the vicious. His body stays still as he makes all the action happen in steady looks and dancing line-delivery." Patrick Marmion in the Daily Mail asked: "A German comedy? How can it possibly work?! The answer is with F. Murray Abraham at the helm... Written by German Daniel Kehlmann, deftly translated by Christopher Hampton." Dominic Cavendish in the Daily Telegraph concluded by saying that "a harsher critic might snipe that this reads like a classy first draft – running to only 90 minutes, it would benefit from more detailed characterisation for Gina and a stronger resolution. It isn’t fully achieved, but then it has so deftly asked what 'fully achieved' entails that you accept its limitations, and lap up the agreeable satire."

"Daniel Kehlmann's The Mentor is a witty comedy of writerly egos. By juxtaposing a young writer jealous of an older writer's success and an old writer jealous of a younger writer's future, it offers an original slant on the classic clash of the generations... Daniel Kehlmann, a bestselling novelist, poet and screenwriter as well as dramatist, knows whereof he writes. There can be no greater tribute to the painful honesty of his play than that it has attracted the attention of translator extraordinaire, Christopher Hampton, who provides a superbly colloquial English version. Lawrence Boswell directs a first-rate cast, with Daniel Weyman and Naomi Frederick doing the honours for the younger generation and Oscar-winner, F Murray Abraham, in a welcome return to the British stage, doing the honours for the old. Best of all is Jonathan Cullen, the picture of flustered dignity as their exploited host." The Sunday Express

"Fresh from his villainous turn on Homeland, F Murray Abraham adds star power to this wickedly funny tale of two writers brimming with confidence – but not much talent... Daniel Kehlmann’s subject is the artistic ego, the subjectivity of opinion and how much truth anyone really wants to hear. It’s delicious stuff, smart and funny. The beautifully performed production unravels beneath the gently falling petals of a cherry blossom tree – a reminder that everything has its season and nothing lasts for ever. It’s anything but mediocre." The Mail on Sunday

The Mentor in London at the Vaudeville Theatre pubic previews from 24 June 2017, opens on 4 July 2017 and closes on 2 September 2017