Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Love and Money

Today's title was not chosen to induce thoughts of the Mills-Macca saga (although her latest PR stunt makes OJ's almost seem reserved). Instead it is the ticket to one of the best nights out in London right now: Dennis Kelly's new play at the Young Vic. Watching it was as close to a Meg Ryan "Yes, Yes, Yes!" moment as I have had in a while (at the theatre, that is, please don't sign me up for any cuddle parties).

Fresh, modern and of today it has all the hallmarks of a hipster cult following. The script is riveting with the characters delivering skin-deep performances that make so much other theatre seem stilted in retrospect. The plot revolves around the point to which capitalism can drive us in our bid to 'keep up with the Joneses.' And with credit spending on the up and the UK boasting the highest levels of personal debt in Europe it couldn't be more topical.

The writing is superb and propels the short 90-minute play at such a frenzied speed, perfectly evoking today's 'buy, buy, buy' world. From the opening scene featuring the play's everyman, David, conducting an e-mail romance with a French colleague, you are hooked. He is knee-deep in debt and dissastified with his job. His wife, Jess, is stressed beyond sanity because of the debt from her shopping addiction. They have a massive row after she sees a man stabbed on Oxford Street. She begins to fall apart. And you can't help but be glued to every move.

The Young Vic reopened in October after a re-build (and under David Lan's direction is ripe to rival the National Theatre). It boasts the new Cut Bar and Restaurant which was buzzing with both theatre goers and regular punters alike. There is also a cocktail bar and roof terrace upstairs where I found the friendly and largely Mancunian cast. The studio space itself is Ikea-stark befitting the depicted impersonal and clinical world.

This jigsaw puzzle of modern urban life had me laughing out for more. It often felt like a cross between The Office, Friends, and the Royle Family. But be forewarned if you are sensitive about profane language: cu*t is used so freely you start wondering if it is the new fu*k. Either way, the script offers little protection.


The Young Vic
020 7922 2922
Until 16 Dec (not yet reviewed in mainstream media)

19 Comments:

Anonymous GA said...

CS,

You don't consider yourself mainstream media? Since when?

6:19 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CS,

you are my only media...or is that sunshine :-)

6:23 pm  
Anonymous Claire said...

Sounds great
Will have to go and see this. Thanks for heads up. Boo hoo to mainstream media everybody knows that!

6:27 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cunt is the new fuck: as discussed!
mancunians: friendly thesps!!
hope to see it coming north.

6:28 pm  
Blogger City Slicker said...

Sorry should have mentioned it premiered in Manchester for a brief blip in October at the Royal Exhange. See us Londoners can pay respect where respect is due...

Come down to the Big Smoke it is more than worth the trip!

6:31 pm  
Anonymous HeartyBowl said...

Awesome timing City Slicker. I needed a plan for this dreary London night. Just booked up to check it out. The seats are only £15.50 so maybe your right this could be mu bag after all. Will report back tomorrow.

And cash IS king!

6:36 pm  
Anonymous Deborah said...

Agree with other comments that it sounds excellent indeed. Will have to book up. Like the notion of c^nt being the new f^ck although what is next?

6:47 pm  
Anonymous Jay said...

Great to gear the Young Vic is back and better. I love that place. Will check this out sounds very fun. Ta ta

7:07 pm  
Anonymous Jan said...

Who ever reads formal reviews? They are so up their own luvvie arses it is unbelievable. Bloggers are the way forward. And with 55 million of them out there some heve to be good :-)

7:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

cant wait to see it now
sounds fab

7:35 pm  
Anonymous Fresh said...

Happy Thanksgiving City Slicker!

Hope this play hits the Big Apple next

7:39 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You almost make me want to go to the theatre

Havent been in ten years

8:19 pm  
Blogger ems said...

Adding it to my mental to do list. Slow down, CS, I don't have enough time for all your recommendations!

9:20 pm  
Anonymous Tanya said...

Sounds great just gotta make time to get there now. Wish I had you energy :-)

12:10 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog here. Liked your comments in the Guardian

12:42 am  
Anonymous Kath said...

Happy Turkey Day Slick

We miss you here in NYC but so fun to read about life in London. Keep blogging girlfriend.

Kath

2:01 am  
Anonymous Tal said...

A praiseworthy review in today's London Metro as well.
One day ahead as usual CS:-)
Booked up for Saturday evening.

11:35 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great London tips

12:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CS,

First you slag off Caryl bloody Churchill and now you heap unwarranted praise on Dennis c*nting Kelly??!!!

Ok, I admit it. DRUNK ENOUGH TO SAY I LOVE YOU isn't worthy of Churchill's talent. It's pedestrian, shrill, repetitive and boring. Quite an achievement for a 50-minute play. However, it still has more formal audacity and curiosity than any 2 minutes of the Dennis Kelly play. You're quite right. It IS like a cross between THE OFFICE and THE ROYLE FAMILY. If I want facile and vaguely clever telly, I'll watch my telly, thanks. If I want provocative, emotionally nuanced, formally challenging theatre, I won't be going to a Dennis Kelly play.

7:52 am  

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