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The bad boy is back. Marber’s Molière update, which first appeared at the Donmar Warehouse in 2006, has been revived by the playwright for a West End run – David Tennant succeeding Rhys Ifans as the titular seducer.
While An American in Paris captures the dreamy glamour of old Hollywood, Simon McBurney rivetingly evokes its seedy, cynical underbelly, from backroom deals to drug busts and mobsters. Yet it is, in its own way, just as dazzling – a paean to Tinseltown myth-making as well as a blackly comic deconstruction.
It’s 1945, and Paris is shakily emerging from Nazi occupation – celebrating, yes, with soldiers returning and families reuniting, but also confronting collaborators in their midst and post-war deprivation. Amidst this turmoil, two future lovers meet: an encounter of seismic power.