What’s it all about?
It might seem a touch ambitious to bring a selection of letters dramatically to the stage, but that is just the feat actor/writer Michael Simkins has taken on with Dear Lupin.
The correspondence in question are the missives sent from racing journo Roger Mortimer to his wayward son Charlie, which, when put together and fleshed out tell the tale of a life lived without boundaries and a love offered without constraint.
Who’s in it?
Father and son James and Jack Fox play father and son Roger and Charlie Mortimer; it’s aesthetically pleasing casting.
While Jack finds all the inherent puckish glee in Charlie’s unfettered life choices, James, old hand that he is, exudes a simple paternal love as Roger and revels when taking on a variety of supporting roles, from a classic angry drill sergeant to a foppish auctioneer.
What should I look out for?
Those almost music hall, over the top Fox characterisations. Pantomime they might be, but it’s hard not to laugh at James Fox portraying a potty-mouthed Del Boy-alike.
The gags and wit that Michael Simkins has drawn from the pages of Mortimer’s letters and placed on the stage. When that shouty sergeant tells Lupin “I didn’t see you at camouflage training,” you know the belly laugh will follow.
In a nutshell?
The fantastic Mr Foxes are full of familial fun in this hit page to stage adaptation.
Who was in the first night crowd?
Fellow Fox, Laurence – brother of Jack, son of James, cousin of Emilia and Freddie – was out to show his support alongside wife Billie Piper. We also spotted Samantha Bond, Mark Gatiss and sat next to comedian Jack Whitehall who laughed a lot, which must be a good sign.
What’s being said on Twitter?
So honoured to be at the hilarious and touching opening night of #DearLupin – what a wonderful adaption of a really special book.
— Charlotte Macdonald (@Char_Ronald) August 3, 2015
Take your dad to see Dear Lupin at the Apollo theatre. The incredible wit and wisdom of Roger Mortimer immortalised by Jack and James Fox!
— Jack Whitehall (@jackwhitehall) August 4, 2015
Will I like it?
Despite a lead character who descends into substance abuse and contracts HIV, Dear Lupin is easy, comfortable viewing. For the most part, the collection of strung together anecdotes rattle along in titter-inducing fashion, halted occasionally by rare moments of eye-moistening sentiment. Relax, take a parent – or a grown-up child – and have a big hug afterwards.
Dear Lupin runs at the Apollo Theatre until 19 September. You can book tickets through us here.