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Editor reviews

A man and a woman share a compartment on a European train. He's an embittered, aging author; she's a longtime fan of his work who recalls past sorrows and is afraid to read the maestro's latest book in his presence. The play mostly consists of internal monologues. David Suchet and Harriet Walter both have fine voices and are accomplished at varying their tone and pace to keep their soliloquies interesting. Suchet even argues with himself in two subtly varied voices. His resonant, deep voice is especially enjoyable. Despite the sedentary premise, the play generates suspense and moments of insight, amusement, and even joy. This is a small, intelligent gem, finely played, with more depth than one might expect. The program includes a brief interview with the actors.

Summary

A notorious author shares a train compartment with a long-time reader. But can they connect with each other through a silent tide of self-doubt and second-guessing? From the playwright of Art. Sir David Suchet and Dame Harriet Walter star in L.A. Theatre Works' performance of Yasmina Reza’s The Unexpected Man. Translated by Christopher Hampton. Directed by Gordon House.

©2011 L.A. Theatre Works (P)2011 L.A. Theatre Works

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  • Emily
  • 07-03-13

Two people on a train, one spellbinding story

This is a performance audiobook which shows how it should be done. This excellent Yasmina Reza play, brilliant translated by Christopher Hampton, is utterly engrossing. The premise is simple, two people (one man, one woman) sit in a carriage on a train trip through Europe. The play explores their thoughts as they travel, internal monologues assessing their lives, their loves, and each other. David Suchet's performance is marvelous - he is a performer who knows the power of radio drama, and Harriet Walter is equally enchanting. Buy this audiobook if you want something poignant, funny, and engaging.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Free Range Clickin'
  • 20-04-18

Excellent audio drama

Would you consider the audio edition of The Unexpected Man to be better than the print version?

Of course! This is a play, intended to be voiced.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Unexpected Man?

The last moment.

What does David Suchet and Harriet Walter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Life, character, mood, breath.

Any additional comments?

Here are two exquisitely talented actors, performing a nearly brilliant script. Worth every penny it cost me to buy, and every moment it took to listen to it. Bravo!