Oscar nominee Ralph Fiennes electrifies in the National Theatre's production of Straight Line Crazy. The celebrated playwright and screenwriter Davie Hare (The Hours; The Reader) brings us the dramatic story of the birth of New York. Here's why you need to catch this dynamic production in Cineworld this May.
What is the story of Straight Line Crazy?
For 40 uninterrupted years, Robert Moses exploited those in office through a mix of charm and intimidation. Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s workers, he created parks, bridges and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors. Faced with resistance by protest groups campaigning for a very different idea of what the city should become, will the weakness of democracy be exposed in the face of his charismatic conviction?
Who stars in Straight Line Crazy?
Ralph Fiennes has been lauded for his mercurial and intense turns in the likes of Schindler's List and The English Patient (he was Oscar nominated for both). In recent years, his penchant for villainy has been demonstrated with his role as Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise, and he's also brought a blackly comic touch to malevolent individuals in the likes of In Bruges.
Fiennes tears up the stage as the megalomaniacal Robert Moses and he's joined by veteran British actor Danny Webb (Alien 3), here playing the brash, outsized New York governor Al Smith.
The two actors assemble beneath veteran theatre director Nicholas Hytner, a regular collaborator with Alan Bennett, having adapted the latter's The Madness of King George III and others.
Photo credit Craig Sugden
What have the critics said about Straight Line Crazy?
Writing for The Guardian, Mark Lawson lauds the production with a five-star review, raving: "This is Hare’s most dramatically gripping and politically thoughtful play since The Absence of War three decades ago and provides another acting triumph for Fiennes which, in scenes where the urban monarch broods and rages over maps of his American kingdom, is a preview of the King Lear that is surely soon to come."