Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle
Cast: Kenneth Cranham and Anne-Marie Duff
Running Time: 90 mins, no interval
Heisenberg: The Uncertainty Principle is a new collaboration between the team behind Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which was one of the most successful new plays of recent years. This new show, the first for Elliott and Harper Productions, is a two hander between renowned stage actors Anne-Marie Duff and Kenneth Cranham.
The piece is less successful than its predecessor – the plot is less solid, and the premise is slightly ridiculous. The idea that Georgie, played by Duff, would approach a total stranger (Cranham), who is 33 years her senior and kiss him on the back of the neck is hard to believe. The ensuing story, whilst having some interesting moments and good humour, does slightly drag.
Some of the other aspects of the work are more successful – the set design by Bunny Christie is flexible and inventive, allowing the lighting to convey mood and pace, rather than traditional methods. Hoggett’s movement, whilst being less iconic or as physical as Curious’s company movement numbers due to cast size, are good at moving the scenes or transitions along, even though they are occasionally overlong.
Duff and Cranham both bring potentially more depths to the piece than is on the page. Duff, (recently seen in the critically slated Common at the National) is again charming and charismatic as Georgie, bringing a warmth and a complexity to a potentially unforgiving character. Cranham is also wonderful as Alex, bringing a humanity to a character who, on paper, sounds implausible (a butcher whose tastes and vocabulary are possibly the most varied and middle class) and also accords a great versatility to a demanding role
Summary: Two leading thespians head this slightly misfiring follow-up for the ‘Curious Incident’ team. ***