Monday, February 12, 2007

Who's the Daddy?

If you want to know what Tim Crouch's current (ex-Edinburgh Fringe) hit show, An Oak Tree, at the Soho Theatre is about, click here. For a glowing review read here and if you want to go deeper there is a work called An Oak Tree, by Michael Craig-Martin, which inspired the piece. It is weirdly mysterious as a play about death concerning two characters in which one character is played by the playwright, who hypnotizes the other character, played by a different actor every night, one who has had no previous knowledge of the script or what the play is about.

And without giving away much more, I will say that seeing this 60 minute play last night changed how I think about theatre forever (or at least saved me from the Sunday paper's love-in over Eton pot heads, a topic for another day). In some senses the death that is being explored in An Oak Tree is the death of that traditional realism in theatre, that ‘sleight of hand’. The audience and the play ‘meet’ to seek help from each other, to find a healing for the ‘loss’ they’ve suffered. Few contemporary plays are so forthright about the substitutions that theater makes and the audience cooperation it entails.

An Oak Tree is a dark, funny, often puzzling, often disturbing, and almost unwaveringly powerful night of theatre. Crouch strikes me not just as the Real Deal, but as someone who is completely on his own distinct path. After seeing An Oak Tree, I will keep paying attention to where this path leads. And you should, too.

An Oak Tree
Soho Theatre
Until 4 March
Tickets from £7.50


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds intriguing...

7:36 pm  
Anonymous Ella said...

For a theatre lover to see a performance stripped bare like this must have been intellectually fascinating.

7:37 pm  
Anonymous James said...

So is it about hypnosis?

7:47 pm  
Anonymous Nat said...

I saw Like My Arm at Edinburgh a few years back, Tim Crouch's older work. This new work I caught up with in Manchester and indeed it is an elusive, humane, luminously strange tale told by a consummate storyteller. Run, don't walk, to see it.

7:59 pm  
Anonymous Sandra said...

Ohhh, sounds good.
Booking up now.
Thanks CS!

8:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does the audience get hynotised?

8:37 pm  
Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

CS, Wish I could take it in - I can only hope it will hop across the pond. Thanks for illuminating your readers, as always!

11:52 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog....

9:24 am  
Anonymous Claire said...

4 stars in Metro this morning as well. Sounds like a winner! I havent ben to Soho Theatre in donkey years. Will check out.

10:48 am  
Anonymous badgelady said...

Review also in FT today here 4/5 stars. One day ahead CS!

10:56 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re. My Arm (Tim's other mind-blowing play) - that's showing at Soho too. But only tonight (13th) and next Tuesday (20th). Also - noticed that tickets are cheaper for an oak tree this week than next week.

11:28 am  

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