Hymn by Lolita Chakrabarti – review

"It’s most unusual to begin a review with ‘Go see it’ but that’s exactly what I feel compelled to do, it’s that good!"
Almeida Theatre
afridiziak ratings
Review by: Nicole V Sylvester | @m155_nvs
Published: Thursday 5th, August 2021, 8:10am

Hymn at the Almeida. Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani. Photo credit - Marc Brenner
Hymn at the Almeida. Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani. Photo credit - Marc Brenner

It’s most unusual to begin a review with ‘Go see it’ but that’s exactly what I feel compelled to do, it’s that good!

Starring Adrian Lester and Danny SapaniHymn tells the story of two brothers who meet for the first time at their dad’s funeral. Gil (Adrian Lesteris delivering the eulogy of his late father Gus in a voice so soothing and authoritative it wouldn’t go amiss on Radio 4. Right away you feel as though you are witnessing quality at work. Ben (Danny Sapaniturns up and reveals they share a dad and were born a week apart.

Hymn at the Almeida Danny Sapani and Adrian Lester. Photo credit Marc Brenner
Hymn at the Almeida Danny Sapani and Adrian Lester. Photo credit Marc Brenner

The clear rapport between the actors is evident – it’s literally like watching two real mates having a laugh.

After they meet for a drink and discover positive DNA results, the story is all about how these two build a close brotherly bond from scratch having lived such very different lives. Gil appears to have lived a charmed life.  He had the guidance and security of a successful businessman while Ben had quite a tough time growing up with a mother with mental health issues.

It’s great to see their relationship develop as they get on like a house on fire. My favourite scene is on Ben’s 50th birthday when they go through some old boxes of records and clothes and reminisce and share their youth experience. There’s singing, break dancing, hip hop and rapping – neither of them will win awards for their vocals but it doesn’t matter, it’s adequate and realistic– The clear rapport between the actors is evident – it’s literally like watching two real mates having a laugh.

Hymn at the Almeida. Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani. Photo credit - Marc Brenner
Hymn at the Almeida. Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani. Photo credit – Marc Brenner

I’ve seen Adrian Lester in many productions and think this is the most energetic performance from him I’ve ever seen. I never realised before just how good he is at physical comedy.

Excellent performances by both.  This is absolutely one to watch.

As the story reaches its peak, and inevitable twist, the pair plan to go into business together.  I check the time and can’t believe there’s just 10 minutes to go. An hour and a half has felt like 15 minutes. Well… they say time flies when you’re having fun.

Excellent performances by both.  This is absolutely one to watch.

NEED TO KNOW: Hymn is at the Almeida Theatre, Almeida Street, London N1 1TA until 13 August 2021 | BOOK TICKETS | Read our review of the Hymn live stream

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Five
It’s most unusual to begin a review with ‘Go see it’ but that’s exactly what I feel compelled to do, it’s that good! Starring Adrian Lester and Danny Sapani, Hymn tells the story of two brothers who meet for the first time at their dad’s funeral. Gil (Adrian Lester) is delivering the...hymn-by-lolita-chakrabarti