Review: The Collaboration, Young Vic - Jeremy Pope and Paul Bettany had me on my feet
Anthony McCarten's new play The Collaboration at the Young Vic kicks off as you arrive in the auditorium with an 80s DJ set. It's toe-tapping, hip and creates a party, edgy, youthful yet nostalgic atmosphere.
Contrast this with the first scene in which we find Andy Warhol (Paul Bettany) being persuaded by his manager Bruno (Alec Newman) to work on a collaboration with young artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (Jeremy Pope).
Bettany's Warhol is buttoned up, stiff, contained, tidy and hates mess. His appeal in the art world isn't what it once was.
In the next scene, we meet Basquiat, whose star is firmly in the ascendant. He is having a similar conversation with Bruno, whom he also manages, and we see someone who is more fluid and loose in their body language, inquisitive and prowling. Someone who doesn't care about mess.
But this isn't just about physical differences; it's a play about different minds, different approaches to art and different lives.
The first half is a verbal sparring match, the two artists having reluctantly agreed to work together. They clash on the purpose of art, what it's for and whether it can heal.
Warhol's art is planned, slow, particular and calculated its value, ironically, dismissed as nothing. Basquiat's art is spontaneous, rooted in emotion. It is about expression and saying something.
Continue reading "Review: The Collaboration, Young Vic - Jeremy Pope and Paul Bettany had me on my feet" »