The Theatreguide.London Review
Menier Chocolate Factory Autumn 2011
In TV sitcoms like Men Behaving Badly the men all have mental ages of about ten, especially when dealing with sex, and the women are all wise and mature, but stuck with loving or needing these idiots. And that is the total premise and total conclusion of Saul Rubinek's limping comedy-drama.
The only difference is that with the TV show you might actually laugh once or twice.
Forty-something Jake is a serial womaniser currently living with, and off, Hedda. His buddy Stanley is with Delila but beginning to feel a little trapped. So Stanley does the stupidest thing possible – he comes to Jake for advice and then tries in his clumsy way to follow it.
The result is a string of confusions, misunderstandings and complications that are for the most part neither believable nor funny.
Director Frank Oz, best known as Jim Henson's number-two man with the Muppets and for directing films, moves his actors around the stage smoothly but hasn't helped any of them find a convincing and coherent character.
Scott Bakula (Jake) is an actor of immense charm, and Caroline Quentin (Hedda) can move smoothly from cynical comedy to vulnerability. Andy Nyman and Sharon Horgan do what is asked of them.
All are capable of more than this weak script allows. Perhaps someday someone will write a good play for them.
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Review - Terrible Advice - Menier 2011