Royal Court Theatre
The philosopher George Simmel once wrote in praise of the 'stranger', describing how the stranger is both 'near' and 'far away' at the same time. My relationship to those Malvinas veterans could not be better described.
I'll name you two things that are very pricey but integral to you not falling apart as a human being. One is therapy. The other is theatre... I can't help but feel like one is a bit like the other sometimes, and if you go to the Royal Court this month you can see two plays which are like an a very intense, cathartic, exhausting (but GOOD) workout for your soul.
And now, courtesy of a little old press release on the Harry Potter musical, everyone is talking about Noma. Everyone. So how thrilled I was to catch her here before she becomes huge next year.
What is hang about? I cannot tell you. What happens in it? Even after watching it, I do not know for sure. Everything in this play is a little elusive. Facts, motivations, even names, place and time. Yet this is a play that plunges headlong into a dark situation where victim's justice is taken to its farthest point.
There is a delicious darkness to Roald Dahl's original book about a vile and dirty couple who are rotten to the core. You relish their horrid plots and laugh at their wickedness. I desperately wanted this adaptation to capture that spirit but the result is not good, patchy at best.
On the surface, God Bless the Child is a satire on our education system and the hoops we make our teachers, and our children, jump through. Only it's so much more than this as it's also an examination of where power truly resides in a classroom.
Teh Internet is Serious Business (typo deliberate) at the Royal Court is a really exciting, dynamic production about collaborative hacktivism. Anonymous, LulzSec and 4Chan are all included in this show that blurs fact with fiction as it seeks to reflect the good and the sinister about lives lived online.
The Nether is a dark, dystopian play that explores the worst of human behaviour in a world where we live almost entirely in a virtual reality. It is disturbing but it is compulsive viewing. You can't look away no matter how much you want to.
Birdland is a warning on the perils of fame. That makes it very much a tale of our time but though the bold, exciting presentation from director Carrie Cracknell and the star casting of Andrew Scott catches the eye, this play doesn't really bring anything new to this well-worn subject.
The Mistress Contract at the Royal Court is such a missed opportunity. The source material, a true story of a couple in the USA who've engaged in a sex services contract for the past 40 years, is fascinating but this stage adaptation is a disappointment.