Vincent, a play penned by Leonard Nimmoy, is a one-man production in which Theo Van Gogh, devoted brother and benefactor of Vincent, ponders and reflects on his famous sibling’s life one week after his death.
Based on the real-life letters Vincent wrote to his brother throughout his life, the play is moving, emotional and given impact due to its personal viewpoint. The acting is impressive, with the performer adopting a Dutch accent throughout (although, and I’m nit-picking here, this does sometimes seem to stray into Spanish…). Paintings and sketches by Van Gogh are projected onto a screen at the back of the stage during the performance, and these are used to illustrate points of his life, such as the period he spent as a preacher in a Belgian mining community.
Van Gogh’s story is a tragic one, and this is brought home via the writing and the performance, which very quickly convinces you that it is actually Theo Van Gogh you are listening to, such is the power of the actor portraying the part. You feel you are being given a very personal and candid view of real events by a loving and grieving brother, and by the end, you share these feelings and are left pondering the nature of family love and of artistic madness.