Review: Proof of great theatre

Review of ‘Proof’ by David Auburn, performed by the Heath Players and directed by Bernard Moule

By Chris Vince

I should start with an admission as a Maths teacher, a play about the subject is one that automatically interested me. However, you certainly don’t need to be a mathematician, nor do you even need to enjoy the subject at all to enjoy Bernard Moule’s adaptation of the original David Auburn play of the same name.

What struck me in the first instance about the performance is how well all four of the cast members took to the task of getting into character, not only did they have to perfect american accents, avoiding the natural tendency to overdo them, but they also had to learn a great deal of complex dialogue. I would say that they did this as near as faultlessly as possible and their obvious investment into making their character’s their own (Jo Gladstone adding a hint of a New York accent adding to her character Claire for example) made me as an audience member want to invest in them too.

Director Moule spoke to me about the fact that each of the four characters were fascinating in their own right and from Mark Radcliffe’s Mathematics professor with severe mental health issues to Jenna Young’s gifted but loyal daughter, I would say that Moule is right. My favourite line did come from young Mathematician Hal (played by Stefan Mullard) when he said when you get to 50 you might as well give up and go and teach High School Math!

Overall it was a great performance and, although some of the language may have been a little strong for some of the audience members, the packed audience at Hatfield Heath village hall seemed to enjoy it.

Chris Vince

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