David threlfall

Brilliantly performed twaddle: Old Vic’s Faith Healer reviewed

The Old Vic refuses to reopen. Director Matthew Warchus says the social distancing rules make it impossible for him to reach the 70 per cent capacity he needs to break even. That was true in the old days when the Vic had to put on lavish fare and tempt audiences away from the opulent variety of the West End. But the competition has gone. Warchus is free to mount cheap, simple dramas which recoup their costs quickly. Curiously, this is what he’s doing with Brian Friel’s three-hander, Faith Healer, but the show is performed in an empty house and watched live by spectators via Zoom. The pandemic has made Warchus