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Damian Lewis and John Goodman Head Up This Starry West End of David Mamet’s Classic Play About Small Time Crooks – April 28, 2015

Damian Lewis and John Goodman head up this starry West End of David Mamet’s classic play about small time crooks

by Andrzej Lukowski – Time Out London – 28 April 2015

It would be mean, cheap and generally a bit dickish to say that Damian Lewis’s big post-‘Homeland’, post-‘Wolf Hall’ return to the London stage is overshadowed by some comedy facial hair. Nonetheless: if you think the above photo of his moustache is a bit on the distracting side then seriously, you should see the thing live.

David Mamet’s classic 1975 play ‘American Buffalo’ is a three hander, and in Daniel Evans’s enjoyable but busy production, Lewis, rising Brit talent Tom Sturridge, and old American hand John Goodman each sort of do their own thing to entertaining if not entirely cohesive effect.

Continue reading Damian Lewis and John Goodman Head Up This Starry West End of David Mamet’s Classic Play About Small Time Crooks – April 28, 2015

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Review: American Buffalo Four Stars – April 28, 2015

Review: American Buffalo, Wyndham’s Theatre

David Mamet’s muscular comedy, starring John Goodman, Tom Sturridge and Damian Lewis, is revived with style

By Lucy Brooks – Culture Whisper – April 28, 2015

American Buffalo cast, photo by Johan Persson

American Buffalo is typical David Mamet: a taut three-hander that’s all talk. The dynamic between the have-a-go-hustlers is testosterone-heavy, meaty and littered with expletives. Action is sparse and the characters are dissatisfied outliers of the American Dream.

This revival brings the shabby clutter of a Chicago junk shop to London with loving attention to detail and the stylish touch of assorted Americana suspended from above, penning in a claustrophobic stage. Within this shop interior we see the rhythms of everyday life, full of gripes over money lost in poker and what to eat for breakfast. But when the titular American Buffalo, a 24-karat bullion coin minted in 2006 by the US government, gives a chance to make a quick buck, a convoluted plan emerges, warps and collapses.

John Goodman, superbly cast as long-suffering shopkeeper Don, negates a contradictory mixture of self-seeking ambition, caution and sympathy as he is persuaded to evolve his petty criminal plans and replace the dopey sidekick Bobby with smooth-talking Teach. His expressiveness ekes out the comedy between the lines, and as the only American on stage, Goodman’s natural cadence makes Mamet’s script feel the most vivid.

Already under the spotlight thanks to a starring role in Far From the Madding Crowd, Tom Sturridge as Bobby holds his own on stage, keeping the spacey slur just subtle enough to leave us guessing over his sobriety. And while there is plenty of humour, there is nothing parodic about his portrayal of a recently recovering addict; vulnerability and pathos stay close to the surface.

But Damian Lewis stole the show. Oozing seventies sleaze with a flared burgundy suit, handlebar ‘tache and sideburns, he masters the gift of the gab. As the charismatic but usurping Teach he had not just the characters but the audience eating out his hand.  And for all the flashiness, Lewis also reveals underlying insecurities. All the insidious self-promotion and confidence in talking down others is offset by a deep discontentment, conveyed in a rare moment of wordlessness and flash of frenzied action.

Damian Lewis and John Goodman in American Buffalo

Continue reading Review: American Buffalo Four Stars – April 28, 2015

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American Buffalo Proves the Perfect Vehicle for Welsh Director – April 28, 2015

American Buffalo proves the perfect vehicle for Welsh director Daniel Evans

Homeland star Damian Lewis and American actor John Goodman have teamed up for the London production

by Philip Fisher – Wales Online – 5 April 2015

In the hands of Rhondda-born actor/director Daniel Evans , David Mamet’s gritty drama American Buffalo about small-time cons in Chicago 40 years ago is the perfect star vehicle.

The cast of three consists of Homeland’s Damian Lewis , a major star on both sides of the Atlantic, John Goodman of Roseanne and Coen Brothers movie fame plus Sienna Miller’s real-life partner and up-and-coming movie heartthrob, Tom Sturridge.

Goodman plays Donnie, the affable but gullible proprietor of a junk shop that he probably believes is an antique store. Designer Paul Wills not only fills it with worthless detritus but wittily has much more of the same symbolically suspended above the hapless trio.

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Lewis is unrecognisable but excellent as Teach, a wannabe gangster with Shaft-style 1970s facial hair and evil inclinations.

Read the rest of the original article at Wales Online

 

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American Buffalo review – Damian Lewis is right on the money in Mamet classic, The Guardian, April 27, 2015

American Buffalo review – Damian Lewis is right on the money in Mamet classic

by Michael Billington, The Guardian, April 27, 2015

Daniel Evans’s production is meticulous is its psychological and physical detail, and there are fine performances from Lewis, John Goodman and Tom Sturridge.

John Goodman (Don Dubbow), Tom Sturridge (Bob) and Damian Lewis (Walter Cole) in American Buffalo by David Mamet at Wyndhams theatre.
 John Goodman (Don Dubbow), Tom Sturridge (Bob) and Damian Lewis (Walter Cole) in American Buffalo by David Mamet at Wyndham’s theatre. Photograph: Tristram Kenton for the Guardian