Went to see Frost Nixon at the Gielgud Theatre last night, and can’t speak highly enough of the whole rannygazoo. A really startlingly good play that completely lives up to the hype, mainly thanks to the performances of Michael Sheen as David Frost and Frank Langella as Richard Nixon. If you can get a ticket for this, then all I can do is grab you by the shoulders, look you in the eye and gibber, ‘go… go…’. I’d never realised the significance of the Frost-Nixon interviews until last night, nor had I realised what a bon viveur David Frost was in the Seventies – I’d always had him down as a kind of poor man’s Peter Cook turned poor man’s Robin Day – but the way he cornered Nixon over Watergate was extraordinary theatre, and by extension, extraordinary television.
Naturally I found myself sitting next to a couple determined to be the Biggest Pains In The Arse In British Theatre 2006. They were an elderly couple, admittedly, but as soon as Nixon spoke his first line she piped up, ‘I can’t hear’. Not even in a whisper either. He then nodded off and started to snore, until she woke him up and asked him if he wanted to go home. The rest of the play consisted of her announcing when she couldn’t hear and asking him if he wanted to go home. At one point he spent a whole ten minutes, ten minutes mind, rustling a sweet paper. Towards the end of the play, at a crucial moment of tense silence, she burped and announced ‘excuse me’. I even started to suspect that they were deliberately winding me up. Or possibly Hugh Grant, who was sitting in the same row.