isn't the best medium for K-Pax, the story of a man in a mental hospital
who has a profound effect on his fellow patients and claims to come from
another planet. A stage production allows neither the special effects of
the Kevin Spacey-led Hollywood adaptation nor the complex character development of the original novel.
That said, the excellent cast do their best to make this believable.
The dialogue between patients provides plenty humour, while the monologues
by each character offer more philosophical thoughts about the often ugly
nature of human beings. The play works best when the humour is at its most
subtle: usually that is when it adheres most closely to the original text.
At other times it is much less successful and often descends into juvenile
jokes: the sight of a patient shouting ostrich doodoo and giraffe manure
in his sleep wins few laughs.
Unfortunately, the final scene attempts to tie up all the loose endings:
the director obviously hasn't realised that the novel's ambiguity is a
large part of its appeal. Despite these faults you can't help leaving the
venue with the wish that you too were on your way to K-Pax. It's a great place
thrill: Audience reaction when asked
if they've ever cheated in a relationship.