To the Old Vic Theatre the other week to see two Hollywood heavyweights slug it out on stage in David Mamet’s Speed the Plow. It’s not often I get the chance to see actors of such calibre in the flesh on the stage and Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum didn’t disappoint. Dialogue was delivered with shotgun sharpness with fast and furious acting. This was two men on the verge of a mental breakdown in a fight over art over money, morals over cash. The play was set in Hollywood, so you can guess which won. Speed the Plow is a play of three parts with no interval (ignore this bit at your peril and head for the loo twice before you go in) as if you lose concentration for a second you’re in danger of losing the plot.
I’ve been to the Old Vic so many times over the years, we’re becoming old friends. But this was the first time I’d felt a frisson of sensual excitement as I sat in my seat. Oh yes. It happened when the highly fanciable Jeff Goldblum slipped off his slippers on stage, revealing bare feet. It was an innocent enough movement that promised much more. If you were there and you heard a woman softly groan in the Dress Circle, yes, that was me. Heaven only knows what it did to the ladies in the Stalls.