Carl Djerassi's play about the intrinsic value of art and the politics of publishing and provenance within a major Austrian museum, is currently playing at the New End Theatre, Hampstead. A little jewel of a place, it's one drawback is that the seats are very close together, so if you're taller than a jockey try to get either an aisle seat or a seat in the front or the (middle of the) rear row.
The stage is small, too, but as with the King's Head and the Jermyn Street Theatre, wonders are regularly achieved on it, and Michael Taylor's set would do a West End production proud. In fact it's one of the most attractive and realistic sets I've seen for a long time, and the costumes (especially those of the two historical characters we see, Don Juan (Chris Brazier) and Barbara Blomberg (Lynette Edwards)) are equally attractive.
Karen Archer as an art historian and Lucy Liemann as her assistant, both give strong performances, but the evening belongs to the two men - Jack Klaff as a scientist brought in to analyse the statue of a beautiful young man, to see if it really is Roman or whether it's actually a Renaissance copy, and Hamish Clark as his assistant. Clark is well-known for the television series Monarch of the Glen but is a strong stage actor, and hearing him impersonate a Spanish archaeologist (part of the plot!) while keeping, underneath the Manuel-from-Fawlty-Towers accent, his own Scottish one, gave that scene an extra comic edge. Jack Klaff has a longer track record in theatre and a strong stage presence.
This is an unusual, light and enjoyable play, recommended especially - but not exclusively - for Hampstead locals.