Frost/Nixon Review

Crucible Theatre, Sheffield – until 17 March.  Reviewed by Charlotte Brown

5*****

Watergate – one of the biggest scandals in American history is probably the most talked about political cover-ups ever (1972), which in 1974 prompted Richard Nixon to become the only US President in history to resign from office. On the day of his resignation, 400 million worldwide viewers watch Nixon leave the White House. Amongst those watching was the British journalist and chat show host David Frost.

Frost is eager to get an “access-all-areas” interview with Nixon. Nixon is equally as keen to take part, encouraged by his literary agent Irving “Swifty” Lazar, who believes the interview is the perfect opportunity to salvage Nixons’ reputation and make some money.

Along with friend and Producer John Birt, Frost travels to California to meet with Nixon to discuss the series of interview recordings. On the flight to California, Frost meets a young woman by the name of Caroline Cushing, and they begin a relationship.

Frost isn’t 100% sure what he wishes to gain from the interviews and after enlisting the help of two private investigators, decides to push for a confession. Both wish to control the story but only one can emerge the victor.

This gripping and compelling stage production (A Sheffields Theatre Production) of the controversial Frost/Nixon interview gives a behind-the-scenes look at what was twelve days of filming the most compelling interview of David Frosts career as a TV chat show host.

The two main leads – Daniel Rigby (David Frost) and Jonathan Hyde (Richard Nixon) are superbly convincing as the real deal. Although I wasn’t born in the 1970s I have seen snippets of the famous interview before this evening, so much so that despite being supported by an equally fantastic cast, I found myself transfixed on Rigby and Hyde for the full 90 minutes of this stellar performance. Hyde captured Nixons’ humorous side to a tee, making me believe that it IS okay for Politicians to take part in illegal activity(!) – I couldn’t help but love Nixon and see beyond the scandal. Rigby was equally likeable as the charmer socialite Frost. Overall Frost/Nixon is two hours of intense viewing not to be missed!

 

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