Vaudeville Theatre
The Strand
London, WC2R 0NH
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Opened: 24 Jun 2017
Booking from: 01 Sep 2017
Booking until: 26 Aug 2017
Duration: 90 minutes (no interval)
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  • liamharrison1 180cm male 1 review 0 helpful votes
    80% total rating The Mentor, 26th June 2017
    It’s an age old fact that writers love writing about writers. Daniel Kehlmann is no different. A remote country house is the setting for a tense meeting of minds as the young dramatist Martin Wegner “voice of his generation” (Daniel Weyman) arrives to receive writing mentorship from the curmudgeonly old master Benjamin Rubin (F Murray Abraham). As two schools of modern and traditional theatre meet, sparks fly. Barbed witticisms and sardonic provocations are exchanged in this comically pleasing verbal tennis match, the perfect theatrical metaphor for the internal debate raging in any writer’s mind. However, it is easy to see where Kehlmann’s sympathies lie, as the play sticks to a rock hard traditional structure painting Rubin as a misunderstood cynic in need of sympathy. Despite the relatively basic plot, watching the egotistical protagonists flinging eloquent jibes across the room like darts is very enjoyable to watch. But the run-away highlight of the piece comes from the Wegner long suffering wife played by Naomi Frederick. Having skirted on the peripheries of the playwrights’ childish squabbles she arrives back onto the playing field to deliver her husband some hilarious home truths. A supportive partner pushed to their breaking point by a fragile egocentric creative rings so amusingly true that it’s hard to believe the scenario doesn’t have some basis in Kehlmann’s own life. While not the most challenging or provocative of plays The Mentor is an incredibly well-crafted comedy, filled with strong performances and brimming with chuckle-inducing repartee.
    Sat in Stalls H9
    This central seat in the stalls offers a perfect view of the Vaudeville stage. The seats are on the older side but still very comfortable with a decent amount of legroom.
  • u2fancat 22 reviews 0 helpful votes
    100% total rating The Mentor, 3rd July 2017
    The show opens with a young(-ish) writer receiving an award, named for an older mentor; most of the rest of the story is told as a flashback to when they stayed at the same villa, as part of a mentoring programme, the older writer (F. Murray Abraham) giving guidance to the younger. But in a play about writers (written, of course, by another writer), how can we be sure how much to believe of the story we're being spun..? Fabulously witty, frequently hilarious. I loved this. A lovely couple of scenes illustrate how both youth and age can be obnoxious, demanding and throwing hissy fits, and a hapless employee is made to dance attendance to the side, patently not part of the great circle of Artists. And as the story progresses, we become unsure what the purpose of the story even is. The twist in the tale..? Absolutely delicious. Yes, definitely recommended - runs until 2 September.
    Legroom was fine - even if it hadn't been, I was on the aisle. And the view was perfect, just slightly to the side. Very good seat.
    E19 Dress Circle - Vaudeville Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Dress Circle E19
  • -A 5"2 15 reviews 0 helpful votes
    40% total rating The Mentor, 31st July 2017
    I was bored for the first half then got interested. The more that I watched the more that I realised that the problem was actually to do with the direction. The music and background noise was annoying, long pauses in discussion made for boredom and the conversation sometimes felt awkward like the chemistry wasn't there with the cast. Abraham's acted well as usual but the rest of the cast went from good acting to overacting. The show is very short. Started 7.45 & finished 9pm. No interval. People found it funnier than I did. There was mixed opinions amongst my group but none of us loved it.
    Sat in Stalls D16
    Good amount of legroom (I'm 5ft 2), good seat width and generally comfortable. Excellent view of the stage.
    D16 Stalls - Vaudeville Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Stalls D16
  • londontheatrefan 5'4" female 159 reviews 5 helpful votes
    60% total rating The Mentor, 6th July 2017
    The highlight was definitely the performance of F. Murray Abraham, who was fantastic! The rest of the cast were good too, and I liked the set design. But the play itself was rather lightweight, though provided a lot of humorous moments.
    Sat in Stalls H4
    Though this seat is near the end of the row, it provides a view of the whole stage, and is far enough back, and yet still close too, to give a great perspective of the entire stage. The seat was comfy, and legroom, whilst not perfect, was generous enough.
    H4 Stalls - Vaudeville Theatre - Seat Review & View Photo
    View from Stalls H4
The Vaudeville Theatre is quite a small West End theatre, so you can generally get good views throughout the Stalls, even at the rear.

The Dress Circle has pillars in Rows K & F which does cause some restrictions to seats around it, but generally views are good, particularly as this section does not have a safety rail. The Upper Circle is quite high but gives the cheapest seats.
Vaudeville Theatre, London interactive seating plan & seat reviews
F. Murray Abraham stars in Laurence Boswell’s acclaimed transfer of The Mentor. Open at Vaudeville Theatre for a limited run, the show officially opened on the 4th July 2017.

Set in an art nouveau villa that is falling apart, somewhere in the German countryside, two huge personalities are on course to clash in this witty and enthralling comedy about artists, their art and the legacy of fame.

The Mentor is directed by the Artistic Director of Theatre Royal Bath’s Ustinov Studio, Laurence Boswell. Boswell not only has previously won an Olivier Award in recognition of his work, but also led the play to a record-breaking run earlier this year at the studios.

Originally written by the acclaimed author Daniel Kehlmann, this new version is based on a translation by the Academy Award-winning Christopher Hampton, marking the first time that his play has been performed outside of his native country.

The Mentor stars Academy Award winning Actor F. Murray Abraham, who is best known for his role as Salieri in the breath-taking masterpiece Amadeus. He is a star of both stage and screen, having also appeared in Othello, Richard III and Uncle Vanya, the latter of which helped him achieve an Obie Award for Best Actor.

The Mentor also features Daniel Weyman (Kafka’s Dick, King Lear) as Martin Wenger, Naomi Frederick (Hobson’s Choice, The Heresy of Love) as Gina Wenger and Jonathan Cullen (Trouble in Mind, Enemy of the People) as Erqin Rudicek.

The play is directed by Laurence Boswell. Boswell is an Associate Artist of the RSC and Artistic Director of the Ustinov Studio, who has recently seen success with productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Theatre Royal and Trouble in the Mind in the Ustinov Studio.

The Mentor is set to be one of the most exciting new openings of 2017 and is not to be missed. Performances are set to run from 24th June 2017 until 2nd September 2017.
The Mentor is a great new show for those who love challenging and witty comedy. It is also a rare chance to see the acclaimed actor F Murray Abraham on the London stage, and certainly should not be missed.

Age Recommendations: May not be suitable for young children