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Posts Tagged ‘Claire Rushbrook’

Debbie Tucker Green’s new play, which she also directs, may only an hour long, but it packs a real emotional punch and really makes you think.

It takes place in a characterless, impersonal public sector meeting room. We’ve all sat on those chairs under those fluorescent lights and taken a drink from that water cooler. Jon Bausor’s clever design makes it even more cold and cavernous. Characters One and Two (there are no names) work for some government department responsible for liaison with victims of crime. Three, and her family, have been victims, but we don’t know the crime or when it occurred.

One & Two have a letter for Three from the perpetrator of the crime. The victim also has decisions to make independent of this. They are following the procedures they have been trained to follow, so their impersonality matches the environment, but they aren’t fully competent and certainly not ‘in harmony’ with one another and this makes matters much worse, though it also provides humour along with anger and shock at Three’s treatment and predicament. We learn what decisions Three has to make, which is the core of the play.

Like Mike Bartlett’s recent plays Bull and Game, it uses its structure, style and brevity to heighten the emotional impact if its subject, take you in its grip and present you with a moral debate. You can’t help thinking what you would do and then question your own choice. A lot of its impact comes from the stunning performance of Marianne Jean-Baptiste as Three, but excelkent performances by Clarire Rushbrook and Shane Zaza contribute much to its success. The long silence at the end was in part of the ‘is it over?’ kind, but also in part because much of the audience were in shock.

It’s the third great show I’ve seen at the Royal Court in six weeks; things are looking up.

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