Hounded By The Press

The reviews for The Real Inspector Hound are in.

30 October, 2020

Last weekend, Rob Grant and Paul Jackson staged their third Lockdown Theatre production with a cast that included Derek Jacobi, Simon Callow, Jennifer Saunders, Freddie Fox, Emilia Clarke, Samantha Bond, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Gary Wilmot and Robert Lindsay. It's safe to say that The Real Inspector Hound was a walloping success, and the combined total raised by Lockdown Theatre over three productions has now exceeded £112,000 for the Royal Theatrical Fund. Not bad for an idea that started life as a chat about Future Echoes.

Hounded By The Press

The play is famous for its scathing criticism of the press, so it was with trepidation that the team read the reviews on Monday morning. We needn't have worried. It was universally loved:

Theatre Weekly: "This one-off live table read of The Real Inspector Hound was pure magic, thanks in the main to the outstanding cast, but also to Stoppard's ability to write one hell of a farce." ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Independent: "All the performances were well pitched for Zoom - appropriately heightened for the thespy world of the play, but with the actors simply sat at home rather a bells-and-whistles production, we also got the human side of these archetypes - crisp pastiche, instead of overindulgence." ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Broadway World: "There is great simplicity in this way of experiencing a play, as there is little to concentrate on except the words. It is not trying to be a substitute for live theatre, but it is an innovative and very enjoyable piece of entertainment." ⭐⭐⭐⭐

British Theatre Guide: "Back in normal times, there was no way that the team from Lockdown Theatre could have commissioned a top director like Jonathan Church to work with a literary cast on this 70-minute presentation of a relatively unknown metatheatrical masterpiece... Not only is it great fun but the script also benefits from Tom Stoppard's legendary rich use of language and delight in sending up a minor art form that is often taken too seriously and therefore fully deserves to be lampooned."

And as can be seen in this excellent blog post by Jo Brodie, it wasn't just the critics that loved it, the audience did too. Here's some of our favourite tweets from the night:

We're thrilled with the support we've received through these performances and want to say a massive thank you to our stellar cast, our hugely talented director, the teams at Lockdown Theatre and The Royal Theatrical fund, as well as our wonderful audience. And perhaps best of all, the event was even watched by Sir Tom Stoppard himself, who took the time to offer a 'bravo' to everyone involved in the audience chat. It was well-deserved.


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