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Previewed 15 September 2008, Opened 18 September 2008, Closed 25 October 2008 at the Trafalgar Studios 1 in London
Andrew Upton play Riflemind in London directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and starring John Hannah.
Twenty years after their frontman, John, walked off stage for good, the iconic rock band Riflemind are set to get together again. For John, a reunion might be his second chance; for his wife Lynn, it could be the end of the world as she knows it... As the band descends upon John's country manor, this weekend fast becomes the ultimate test of talent, friendship and loyalty.
The cast for Riflemind in London features John Hannah as 'John' and Susan Prior as 'Lynn'.
"The trouble with reunion plays or films, whether they involve college graduates or anyone else, is that they tend to be predictable... And so it proves with Andrew Upton's Riflemind, which brings John Hannah and the excellent Paul Hilton to the West End and several other performers from Sydney, where Philip Seymour Hoffman's production originated.. The cast is immaculate. You won't see a half stoned scene better played than by Hilton or many more credible exemplars of good-natured confusion than Steve Rodgers's Moon, the group's needy, near bankrupt drummer. Yet the emotional stakes never seem as high as effective drama demands. Let's forget the second-rate music we hear occasionally. Let's suppose that this band was once a blend of Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. It's still hard to care about their individual or collective fates." The Times
"Written by Andrew Upton - aka Mr Cate Blanchett, which maybe explains why such a tedious, cliche ridden piece is wasting the time of a talented cast - the play is about the reunion of a once-famous band, Riflemind, in the kitchen of lead singer John years after they have broken up. With barely a blast of his music, we're supposed to assume that John was once a drug-fuelled genius. Now on the wagon, he's charmless, badtempered and bores for Britain with his riffs about tea. His wife, Lynn, more of an absence than a presence, has unconvincingly exchanged her substance dependence for an addiction to yoga. The line-up of rock'n'roll stereotypes continues: a moronic drummer, a leggy rock-chick and John's less successful brother who is still shooting up and trying to escape from John's shadow. Upton wholly fails to suggest a sense of old friendship and shared escapades and the mind-numbing, pseudo-naturalistic rock 'n' roll dialogue struggles along... A lowering experience from every angle." The Mail on Sunday
John Hannah, who stars in Riflemind said: "It's not an event play. It's more of a contemplation piece about having once been young and successful. It's a magnifying glass on those feelings we all have about a sense of having once had your life entirely in front of you... Philip Seymour Hoffman [the director] is very intense to work with. A ball-breaker, heart-breaker, spleen-splitter and kidney-kicker - you name it. He's fantastic. The trouble is that he sometimes acts out things for you and you think, 'Oh God he's so good!' you want to give up!"
Andrew Upton's darkly comic and explosive new play receives it's London and European premiere in this production, the first collaboration between Sydney Theatre Company's Artistic Directors Andrew Upton and Cate Blanchett and Trafalgar Studios. This play was originally produced by Sydney Theatre Company for Australia where Philip Seymour Hoffman first directed the the play.
Riflemind in London at the Trafalgar Studios previewed from 15 September 2008, opened on 18 September 2008 and closed on 25 October 2008