"Friends and Crocodiles" traces the changing relationship of maverick entrepreneur Paul Reynolds and his assistant Lizzie Thomas over a period of 20 years from the beginnings of the Thatcher era to the bursting of the dot.com bubble.
"Friends and Crocodiles" traces the relationship of maverick entrepreneur Paul Reynolds and his colleague Lizzie Thomas over a period of 20 years from the beginning of the Thatcher years to the rise of the electronic age and the dot-com bubble. Paul persuades Lizzie to work for him as his personal assistant, and becomes her mentor. She is inspired by his drive and creativity, but appalled by his lack of organisation and occasionally destructive anarchic lifestyle. After she calls the police to terminate an extravagant party which has got out of hand, they part, vowing never to meet again, but, over the years, their paths continually cross, as Lizzie rises through the corporate world and Paul's fortunes rise and fall. The play is an examination of the nature of personal relationships where work and ideas are more powerful drivers than sexual emotions, and also a panoramic view of the rapid changes in British society in the '80's and '90's. Written by
The title refers to a baby crocodile that main character Paul owns. Paul says he thinks something can be learned from crocodiles because they survived the meteor that caused the extinction of the dinosaurs. See more »
Paul collects people that interest him - and then lets them do whatever they want. And now he's collected you.
No. I'm just the secretary. That is quite different.
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Large canvas, beautiful to look at, plenty to think about
This piece seems to have divided the audience and critics. We have seen and heard more negative reviews than positive ones.
We thought it was a very interesting and enjoyable piece. As so often with Poliakoff, he creates characters who don't behave as you expect them to. They infuriate and they surprise you.
In this epic piece, spanning some 20 years (early eighties to early naughties)Poliakoff examines themes of business, friendships and survival in a fast-changing world.
Crocodiles are an interesting metaphor for survival and coping with change/trauma.
So are friends, both the loyal and the relatively fair-weather variety. Both types are on display here.
Drama about business is usually horribly infuriating because the playwright has little or no insight into how business really works. Similarly technology. Poliakoff understands business and technology far better than most writers.
Of course the piece simplifies and takes positions on these issues - who wants a 20 parter on such subjects - but the piece works excellently well as a sub 2 hour film for TV.
Several critics said that they "just don't get it" with this piece. I feel sorry for them if that is really the case. Perhaps most critics, like most writers, have little understanding of business and/or technology.
The acting is excellent - Damien Lewis (everywhere these days) and Jodhi May predictably good. A few cameos for old favourites too.
The cinematography is just stunning - Poliakoff is probably now at the very top of his game in this aspect of his work.
It's big canvas stuff, it is truly beautiful to look at and it leaves you plenty to think about and talk about afterwards.
We need more of this quality of stuff on TV and cinema please!! And this piece will last. Some of those who "don't get it" just now will, in a few years time, be hailing it as a classic and repeating it for decades to come. It's that sort of piece.
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