A friend recommended I get to a ‘Underneath The Lintel’ a one man show about Dutch librarian last night and think I got the last ticket. So glad I got there what a joy!
Written by Glen Berger the renowned New York playwright who has taken great pains to make the journey full of complexities and inevitably tortuous.
In this production Duncan Henderson gave us a spell binding 90 minutes on stage as the personable but disillusioned dithering librarian discovering things about himself, the world and the meaning of life in general from his battered case of ‘scraps’.
Magical story telling with minimal staging. The librarian follows a tortuous journey around a bookmark left in a Baedeker in 1913. It is a yellowed claim check from a London dry cleaner that leads him to a post office box in Dingtao, China, a government records bureau in Bonn, a sound and photo archive in New York and an attic in Australia in search of someone to pay the fine.
Duncan’s comic timing was perfection as he engaged the audience – speaking to them directly at times. He had them eating out his hands and not surprisingly there was prolonged applause of delight at the end.
I particularly loved his outrage when, upon being made redundant (a modern phenomenom), he returns to steal the date stamper and mark his desk. There was also a touching vignette concerning a dog.
The writer’s ability to spin a complexity of stories within this piece was brilliant and the use of projection for this projection – took the audience into a bigger and wider perspective.
Was so glad I went, some of the best writing and one of the best solo performances I think have ever seen. Brilliant – it’s transferring to London and should be a sell out – get your ticket and travel card staked out now!