AN evening spent Looking at Lucian at the Ustinov Theatre, Bath was a real treat. Having studied Freud the artist at A-level I was interested to see how the play would present the character of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

Alan Franks’ new play, which is having its world premiere in Bath as part of the theatre's summer season, stars double Olivier Award winner Henry Goodman as the compelling and often controversial artist, and runs until September 2.

The drama looks at Lucian Freud as he works in his Kensington studio, painting a portrait across the course of ten months.

I was not disappointed as Henry Goodman provides an amazing performance, perfectly summing up Freud’s desire and need for detail and perfection within his paintings. Goodman shows the audience all sides of Freud's character, be it his loud, jovial self in which he prances around the room, grinning, eyes wide in glee, or his quieter, retrospective side, showing the audience a more vulnerable and lonely aspect of the artist.

While the play itself allows us to Look at Lucian, do that, we the audience are also the ones being observed. Goodman uses the audience as his model, talking to us, staring at us, scrutinising us as Freud would a sitter. Having the stage set so that audience are one wall of his studio allows us to look at him as he in turn inspects us, and really brings to life this ‘fly -on-the-wall' drama. Goodman draws the audience into his world of this tiny Kensington studio through his jokes and limericks and then reminds them of their place, when his frustration at the imaginary sitter comes out through barked instructions and frank explanations.

Granted some knowledge of Freud himself was needed to understand the jokes, but as this was the audience the play seems likely to invite Goodman did a fantastic job of connecting with every member. It was thoroughly enjoyable play, full of wit and humour as well as presenting the audience with an inside glimpse into the life of an exceptional artist.