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Posts Tagged ‘Theatre formerly known as The Shed’

I think Polly Stenham hadn’t finished her play when the NT called and said ‘rehearsals start tomorrow; we need it today’, so she just stopped where she was. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything that felt so unfinished.

In the theatre formerly known as The Shed, we’re in a villa in a hotel compound on an island in the Indian Ocean. British Government minister Vivienne resigned when news of a sex scandal involving her husband Robert broke, so the couple and their teenage children Ralph and Frances escape to this desert island idyl, though it turns out to be not much of an idyl, what with the squabbling, the truth about Robert’s internet dating and a pair of armed locals with a grudge.

The grudge concerns political decisions taken by Vivienne which caused deaths, some close to home for the captors, but as soon as the reprisals begin, another bunch of more professional kidnappers gazump the first and off go the adults, leaving the kids to get violent all on their own. The End.

It’s brilliantly staged by Maria Aberg on a very good set designed by Naomi Dawson and it’s genuinely shocking, with terrific effects. The acting, particularly Susan Nokoma as the chambermaid come captor, is excellent. The trouble is it only touches on the issues and doesn’t really go anywhere. A lot of talent wasted on not a lot of play.

I didn’t see Tusk Tusk, but based on No Quarter and this, I’m afraid Miss Stenham isn’t living up to the early promise shown with That Face.

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