Review: Harry Clarke


by Mike Matthaiakis

In “Harry Clarke,” Billy Crudup delivers a mesmerizing performance that marks his West End debut in spectacular fashion. Directed by Leigh Silverman, this production brings David Cale’s gripping monologue to life with a compelling blend of charm, wit, and intrigue.

Crudup embodies the enigmatic Harry Clarke, a character who blurs the lines between reality and fiction with captivating finesse. From the streets of Camden Town to the opulent homes of New York’s elite, Harry weaves a web of deception and desire that leaves audiences spellbound.

The narrative unfolds with a galloping pace, as Crudup effortlessly transitions between Philip Brugglestein and his alter ego, Harry. Through a series of flashbacks and reflections, we gain insight into Philip’s tumultuous upbringing and the genesis of his audacious persona.

As Harry infiltrates the lives of a wealthy family under the guise of a tour manager for the singer Sade, the tension mounts, and the stakes are raised. Crudup’s portrayal is electrifying, his smile is bright, yet tinged with a hint of darkness that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

Cale’s script is a masterclass in storytelling, blending elements of film noir with sharp observations on language and identity. From Harry’s swaggering bravado to Philip’s introspective musings, each character is brought to life with depth and complexity.

While the narrative may lack the urgency of a traditional thriller, Crudup’s performance more than compensates with its depth and nuance. His vocal range is impressive, capturing the cadence and rhythm of each character with precision and skill.

As the evening unfolds, audiences are treated to a gripping exploration of sexuality, desire, and the power of transformation. Through Crudup’s magnetic performance, “Harry Clarke” invites viewers on a journey into the heart of darkness, where truth and illusion collide in a mesmerizing display of theatrical brilliance.

Ambassadors theatre, until May 11.