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Review: David Tennant is the smutty Don Juan In Soho, Wyndhams Theatre

379395_770_previewI've seen David Tennant play Shakespeare's leads Hamlet, Richard II and Benedick and he's brilliant but I've had a hankering to see him in something more contemporary on stage. Step forward Patrick Marber's Don Juan In Soho, a modern tale of debauched hedonism based loosely on Moliere's Don Juan.

If it was a deliberate move of David Tennant's part to choose a stage project that contrasted with his classical roles then he has succeeded in part at least but I'll come onto that.

Don Juan isn't a play that is going to worry the grey matter, instead is an entertaining romp through 48 hours in the life of the titular character who is the estranged son of a lord. He lives for pleasure and in particular pleasure of the flesh with his trusted, if often reluctant, chauffeur/butler Stan (Adrian Scarborough) to clear up after him. There is nothing too sordid or morally reprehensible that Don Juan won't consider; he doesn't love, he lusts turning on the charm and saying whatever is necessary to get what he wants.

Stan tells us right from the start that he isn't a very nice person and Don Juan's behaviour quickly proves the point and yet when he is doing his worst deeds it doesn't feel shocking, or really that bad. And I'm not sure if this is because David Tennant has too much charm or if that is how the character is drawn. I've heard of some people not returning at the interval but I didn't find anything in the play remotely shocking and I have to confess I was very slightly disappointed by that.

Perhaps I was expecting David Tennant to be more Kilgrave (his merciless, mind controlling baddie in Netflix series Jessica Jones) but what I got was hints of Kilgrave with generous portions of Benedick and Casanova. There are few sharp edges to the character, rather he is lovable rogue. I'm only a little bit disappointed though because the play, overall, is really good fun and Adrian Scarborough has to take a chunk of the credit for that. He and David Tennant make an superb double act and I was pleased to see him get an equally rapturous applause at the end.

If swearing and in particular the C-word offends, probably best to give it a miss and likewise with smutty and risque humour. If you want a couple of hours of more grown up comedy and entertainment then get a ticket, you will have a good laugh. Don Juan in Soho is at the Wyndhams Theatre in the West End until June 10. It's two hours and five minutes including and interval and I'm giving it four stars.