10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Very Meta, Very Weird,
This review is from: The Real Inspector Hound and Other Plays (Paperback)
"The Real Inspector Hound" like most of Stoppard is an exercise in the meta-theatrical... with hilarious results. The story centers around two theatre critics watching a play on stage. Throughout the one act we're introduced to Moon and Birdboot (the critics), see their commentary on the ridiculously parodied murder-mystery play, and watch as they accidentially become part of it.
While these stranger elements may turn off some readers/audiences, it is undeniable that "The Real Inspector Hound" is witty and clever. For example, at one point a critic is caught on stage repeating a previous scene with an actress who is his ex-lover. The dialouge, which we've heard before, this time takes on a double-meaning and fits both "characters'" relationship as well as the critic-actress relationship. At the very least, it's entertaining.
Staging the play is probably even more difficult. I'm part of a production going up in a couple of months and the casting, sets and dialouge are extremely challenging. However, if sufficient acting talent can be found for the critics, and enough work is put into the show, I think it could be amazing.
More than other plays, reading "The Real Inspector Hound" requires imagining the show being staged in order to understand the subtleties and appreciate the humor. A great one act.