As mentioned yesterday in my debut column, which I hope some of you read and enjoyed, or saying that, even read at all, I was invited to attend a play at the Trafalgar Studios in London. The male lead, Elliott Ross, who kindly invited me, is a young British actor who I believe to a rising star and one to look out for in the future. This was Elliott’s first appearance as Charlie Luther Mason, and actually he blew me away with his performance in a very powerful production.
Admissions, a new American play written by Joshus Harmon, (author of Bad Jews) also stars Alex Kingston, Sarah Hadland, Margot Leicester, Andrew Wooddall and Ben Edelman who also plays Charlie when Elliott has a night off!
To give you a little insight into this very thought provoking story, Sherri Rosen-Mason (Alex Kingston) is Head of Admissions at a private school, challenged to diversify the student intake and she wants the world to know about it. When her son Charlie (Elliott Ross) is deferred from his university of choice, Yale, and his best friend is accepted, Sherri’s personal ambition collides with her very own progressive values. Admissions is 90 minutes long, but the exchange of family views, which were frequently heated, about race, religion, background and money will keep you thinking well into the night. The subject of the play is full of emotion and volatile in some areas that apparently has shocked some audiences into silence, including me. But saying that, there were numerous moments when the entire audience burst into laughter in unison.
The play first opened in March 2018 in New York. It won the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play. The production company then transferred the play to London, opening night was on the 12 March and it is running until 25 May, before heading out on a UK tour.
I must close this review and draw the final curtain with a note about Elliott, who I must say was outstanding in his arm waving, foot stomping rants and thoroughly authentic in his performance throughout. I anticipate great things ahead for this young man, you heard it here first!