Posts Tagged ‘Mel Giedroyc’

I caught the last performance of this new American play by J C Lee and was very glad I did. The third piece of good writing in nine days.

Luce is a seventeen year old brought from a war torn African country and adopted by an American couple when he was seven. He’s a popular, bright, sporty kid who’s heading for university with a fat scholarship, until he submits a controversial essay which prompts a teacher to search his locker. She decides to share her concern about radicalisation with his mother, who worships him, rather than the college principal. The search for the truth becomes a trail of clumsiness, incompetence and conflict.

What I liked about the writing is its realism and honesty, probing and challenging perceptions and preconceptions. Though its inconclusive, the debate is deftly handled in Simon Dormandy’s simple staging, with just a table and some chairs as props and actors sitting on the sides when not playing, watching the action but not expressionless.

The performances are all outstanding. I was hugely impressed by Martins Imhangbe as Luce, who switches mood and attitude instantaneously. Mel Giedroyc, making a rare foray into theatre, was also impressive as mom Amy – it was easier to identify with her character when she was serious as the funnier moments felt like Mel. Natasha Gordon’s teacher Harriet, Elizabeth Tan’s fellow pupil Stephanie and Nigel Whitmey’s dad Peter were all well drawn characterisations and performances too.

J C Lee has apparently become rather successful as a TV and film writer, but I do hope we haven’t lost him to theatre, as based on this he’s too good to lose.

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