The Young Vic has released the latest instalment in their intermittent YV Shorts series, filmic responses to the shows they’re producing, often attracting some of the more luminary names in their Rolodex. This time, we have The Roof, a comedy in brief by Nigel Williams and directed by Natalie Abrahami. It is neatly conceived and wittily done, though it does feel very much more targeted at theatregoers than the others, full of self-referential in-jokes as it is.
Beginning in the offices of the Young Vic where Kobna Holdbrook-Smith’s admin bod passes on the message to David Lan (Artistic Director of the venue, should you not be sure) which gets a little bit lost in translation (with years of admin experience under my belt, this rang particularly true) and results in a mammoth misunderstanding of mixed identities at the very time a noted theatre director is showing up for a book signing, with a phalanx of fans eager for the chance to get close to their hero.
The director is Peter Brook and the fans include the likes of an affected Rory Kinnear, a wonderfully dry Ian McKellen, incoming Hermione (and woman-of-the-year designate) Noma Dumezweni and a breathless Jude Law and Natalie Dormer. And it’s all rather good fun, Sinéad Matthews’ farcical French assistant and Hugh Skinner’s always-adorable nerdiness winning the day for me. Abrahami keeps the tone gently parodic which may mean that the humour won’t travel too far outside a certain clique but that just makes it all the more special for us theatre fans.