The Grass is Greener
‘The Grass is Greener’ is undeniably a slick, polished, well acted and aesthetically pleasing production. The script is competent throughout and funny in parts, and although there are occasional comic gems and tastefully set up gags, it is a muted comedy style which is particular to the 50s when it was written and set. Unfortunately, this dated feel extends throughout the piece, and there is a pervasive sense of the inaccessible, elitist and rather antiquated style and subject matter of traditional theatre: the universality of enumerable other classic plays is sadly lacking.
Although the script is somewhat moralistic, with the clear maxim that marriage is for better or worse, it treads quite lightly, and so avoids having many eye rolling moments. Nonetheless, once the situation of the impoverished English Lord’s wife falling in love with the American oil millionaire is set up, it is apparent that the plot could only result in a couple of outcomes, and the denouement feels slightly inevitable, without any real sense of excitement or tension. The actors are all strong and polished in their roles, with Liza Goddard and Christopher Cazenove delivering particularly good performances as Lord and Lady of the manor. This may be due to the fact that they are the only fleshed-out roles, next to the stereotypes of the butler, rich American and high-society diva.
A polished production with a rather irrelevant script, it is a shame that pieces of theatre with so much money thrown at them cannot be innovative or important in the context of their contemporary society. ‘The Grass is Greener’ feels sadly representative of the world of mainstream theatre: catering for a well off, elderly audience who are the only ones willing and able to pay en masse the extraordinarily high ticket prices of venues such as the Theatre Royal.