Alex City Quiz Alex Prints and Originals

Evening Standard
October 22nd 2007
By Fiona Mountford

Turning a two-dimensional, four-frame, multi-character cartoon strip into a 3D monologue is no enviable task. Yet if you've managed to secure Robert Bathurst as your unashamedly unreconstructed investment banker anti-hero, the chances of success are considerable.

So it proves for Charles Peattie and Russell Taylor, as they shift their popular skewering of the foibles of high finance from the pages of the Daily Telegraph to the stage.

Bathurst, who since Cold Feet has cornered the market in amiable arrogance, is dream casting as Alex, the City high flier who loves his work as long as it's someone else doing it.

Director Phelim McDermott has opted for a slick mixture of animation and live action; digital projections on various screens set scenes and introduce characters, but Bathurst supplies all the voices.

It's the acuity of Peattie and Taylor's everyday musings about big business that has guaranteed the cartoon's longevity but here this is occasionally subsumed by an onslaught of narrative.

An awful lot happens to poor Alex in just 75 minutes, but Bathurst's smoothy-chops charm holds everything together wonderfully.