Some plays and productions cast a very special kind of spell. Theatre is all about suspension of disbelief, of the creation for a small amount of time, of a particularly hermetic, special kind of world. And within that particularity, if they get it right, is a universality, a paradox that never ceases to amaze. Continue reading →
How lost can you feel in the countryside? According to Simon Longman’s new play, Gundog, a good deal. Longman’s rural family of shepherds are a sad lot. There’s Becky – school drop-out, couldn’t see the point of learning anything, `they don’t do lessons in shepherding’ – Anna, her older sister, quiet, monosyllabic, dependable. And Ben, their angry, troubled brother, who turns up from time to time having been away but forced to return. He has no skills, other than being on the land. Continue reading →
Zinnie Harris is one of our most original, exciting dramatists. Her latest, How to Hold Your Breath doesn’t entirely succeed but is almost breathtaking in its ambition. An attempt to present the possible collapse of modern 21st century European life in terms of a grand metaphor, it ends in an image all too recognisable from the front pages – illegal immigrants failing to survive a sinking ship. Slipping and sliding down Chloe Lamford’s raised platform, it’s one that also powerfully recalls echoes of the Final Judgement.