Wednesday, January 17, 2007


"We're going to get bladdered up, loved up, drugged up"

Roy Williams' powerful new play is a response to an RSC invitation to "embrace the imaginative power of Shakespeare and go wherever his imagination took him." It took him, and the promenading Swan audience, to a market town on Friday night, to Basra, and back again, in an extraordinary and unexpurgated exploration of ASBO England and the motivation behind love and war. There are some links to Much Ado in the verbal sparring between Ben and Trish, some early moments of real and almost shocking tenderness as Jamie and Hannah dance, violence in Basra, and an unresolved [and too drawn out]series of moral and emotional conflicts. The acting is wonderful.

The Daily Mail's Quentin Letts was bizarrely left with "the metallic, bitter taste of treason." Nicholas de Jongh in the Evening Standard, in contrast, wrote

"...Maria Aberg's brilliantly acted, in-yer-face and get-out-of-the-way promenade which the audience mingles with actors on a stage of torn posters, barbed wire and a burger stall, comes as a shocking revelation of underclass turmoil.."

Personal Star Rating [out of five] ***


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