All about All About My Mother

So last night I was at the press night for All About My Mother, the Old Vic’s new adaptation of Pedro Almodovar’s classic [film](http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0185125/). My review’s [online now](http://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/18142/all-about-my-mother), and will be in print in next week’s issue of _The Stage_. In the meantime, the condensed version:

> Oh. Dear. God.

It got [three stars in the Guardian](http://arts.guardian.co.uk/theatre/drama/reviews/story/0,,2162704,00.html). I’m thankful, really, that I don’t have to allocate stars to productions. Heaven knows what I’d have given last night’s show.

The tragic thing is that in so many ways it was _nearly_ right. I remember hearing when the adaptation was first announced, it made perfect sense: here was a film with many theatrical allusions that could easily work as a small, tightly-contained piece. But what happened instead was an opening out, using every inch of the Old Vic’s stage so that actors ended up having to project to be heard by one another, let alone the audience.

The car crash scene, in which Manuela’s son is hit by a car while running to get an autograph from his favourite actress, was technically a great piece of stagecraft. But, like so many scenes which tried to ape the visual look of the original film, it needed a little tough love to prune it away.

**Update:** My review is [now online](http://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/review.php/18142/all-about-my-mother).
**Update 2:** My review made it into [The Guardian’s review of reviews](http://www.guardian.co.uk/stage/2007/sep/06/theatre2)