The interview between David Frost a lightweight chat show host and Richard Milhous Nixon, the president who came close to impeachment over Watergate, was highly anticipated by some, and laughed at by others. The idea that someone as innocuous as Frost could pull off such an important interview was viewed as spurious. This play takes on the whole history of the interview, from the initial overtures by Frost to Nixon, right through to the aftermath of what became a David and Goliath story.
Frost is played brilliantly in the Melbourne production by John Adam, who captures his dapper image, vanity and optimism, very well. Nixon was brilliantly portrayed by Marshall Napier whose aggressive manipulation of the interview was skilfully done. The cast were sure footed, although there were a few blunders on the opening night, which the audience forgave because the play worked so well.
I was unfamiliar with the full details of the Watergate affair and as I like to go in cold to plays, I had not done any research. I did worry that it would go right over my head as moments in Stoppard’s Rock and Roll had, but I had nothing to worry about. The writer carefully filled the audience in and left nothing out.
The upcoming film of this play should be entertaining; and good political stories aren’t always.