Theatre review: Breakfast at Tiffany's (2 stars)

Emily Atack as Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

credit: Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Slick, generic commercial theatre

Adapting Truman Capote’s popular novel, which was made into a successful film, adding in two familiar faces from TV (Emily Atack from The Inbetweeners and Matt Barber from Downton Abbey, this production from Curve aims squarely at the commercial market. Despite solid, if unspectacular, performances from all of the cast, and a measured pace, the story of Holly Golightly, and her admirer Fred, never fills the stage lacking dramatic tension or emotional depth.

Richard Greenberg’s adaptation deals timidly with Fred’s story – despite being the narrator, his character is merely sketched as a foil to Holly – and Emily Atack’s Holly is a caricature, rarely revealing either the dishonesty or will of the heroine. Plot development is generally triggered by a sudden intrusion (the arrival of Holly’s backwoods husband, or her arrest for her naïve involvement in drug smuggling), rather than emerging naturally from plot or character. And the large sequences of narration, although capably spoken by Barber, strip away any remaining dramatic tension.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, like many adaptations of famous works, relies heavily on the familiarity of the story, and the goodwill of the audience, who want to see a classic retold. While the production is slick, with some sharp design and scenographic touches, it fails to capture the passion that it claims drives the characters.

Breakfast at Tiffany's is on tour with some cast changes.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

  • Directed by: Nikolai Foster
  • Written by: Richard Greenberg (adapt)

Richard Greenberg's adaptation of Truman Capote's tale of Holly Golightly.

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