Monday, 4 April 2011

No Man's Land

So, the title of the play was "Greenland". I am always intrigued by new writing, despite never having been to the Royal Court. The last time I went on a theatre ticket spending spree, I spent rather a large amount of time (but a surprisingly small amount of money) on the National Theatre's wesbite. Because of the wonderful thing which is known to the cash strapped young people of London and the surrounding area as Entry Pass, I decided that spending £5 on a ticket to a new play about one of my least favourite topics, climate change, was a relatively small gamble when one considers the wider picture. With hindsight, I would have saved the money and just brought a nice book instead. Incidentally, I did manage to spend about thirty pounds on books on my way to the theatre, but that's another story. Anyway, I was more than a little disapointed with the play. It was a telling sign that it was the last day of the run, and yet there were still tickets available. Having somehow managed to be oblivious to the reviews, I had no idea that it had been panned until I overhead the couple behing me mention this fact, moments before the play began. However, I was not deterred. As soon as the play started, I recognised the directing style to be akin to Rupert Goold's high tech, flashy and sharp staging of ENRON. For ENRON, this worked so well, but here I found it to be almost trying too hard. It didn't help that the narrative was constantly switching between three different stories, so that everything felt like a constant scene change and, above all, little emotional investment in the characters was allowed for. I found myself constantly trying to look at my watch (luckily, I was in the second row from the front) to see how much longer I had to sit there for. The play ran for two hours without an interval, but I think it would have been so much better had there been a chance to get up and strecth my legs halfway through. The cast were good, but the script allowed them little chance to shine. There were no real stand out performances, and I felt like they were lost on the seemingly vast stage. Overall, I am at a loss. This review sounds harsh, but it's what I really thought. As I once said to someone, after I had insulted two people known to both of us, "people should tell the truth more often. I would say everything that I have just said to their faces". In the case of this play, the former is true, but where the latter is concerned I do not think my opinion would matter to anyone! Greenland: *