Tuesday, May 01, 2007

See That Face

Just occasionally there comes along a piece of new theatre that is so astonishingly spectacular it makes me go reeling into the night. And when the writing is a debut by a 20 year old playwright, who was 19 when she wrote it, you can't help but wonder if the Royal Court is around these days just to make you feel old. Following in the wake of 24-year-old Alexandra Wood's extraordinarily assured debut, The 11th Capital, comes the incredibly emotionally mature drama, That Face, of affluent yet dysfunctional family life from Polly Stenham.

It is a ninety minute piece full of the powerfully observed horrors that transpire when children become parents to their parents. This rare, raw tragedy is set around the double bed of an alcoholic mother and her children. Stenham writes about pain with a welcome degree of wit and warmth and, best of all, engaging compassion. Anyone familiar with life as martyr in a family will leave nothing short of powerfully affected.

Who knows where it will go next. But it is, I think, quite simply the best piece of new theatre I have ever seen. Miss Stenham is clearly one to watch. As is the entire cast. If I were a betting blogger I would head to Ladbrokes and ask for odds on Matt Smith (from the 'History Boys' and 'Party Animals'), who plays the son, winning an Oscar in the next ten years. I told him (and his deservingly proud mum) as much in the theatre bar after the show. And if you can catch a ticket while you can, I'd also wager that you'll agree with me.

That Face
Royal Court Upstairs
Until 19 May
Returns only, Phone 020 7565 5000

24 Comments:

Anonymous Ella said...

Read about this being excellent. Will try for a ticket now.

6:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for tip CS! Tickets seem like angel dust.

6:37 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for tip CS! Tickets seem like angel dust.

6:38 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for tip CS! Tickets seem like angel dust.

6:39 pm  
Anonymous steve said...

Hey there City Slicker just got myself a return ticket for May 17th. Cheers big ears.

9:31 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was so sorry to hear about you not winning the competition. Great blog though.

9:31 am  
Anonymous hb13 said...

Good one. I will try and get to this one.

9:49 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the Royal Court. It is just a shame that it is in Chelsea.

10:07 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Darn it, don't see me making it in time. What a shame.

12:08 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent post CS. But just phoned up the Royal Court and they dont have ANY return tickets. You have to get there for 7 on the day of the performance and hope for the best!

12:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great cast.

1:04 pm  
Blogger *snake*bite* said...

Still pissed that i wont be able to go as won't be around!

Sounds great though!

xXx

4:24 pm  
Blogger LPC said...

Amazing cast...

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تخسيس الوزنnonymous said...
Excellent post CS. But just phoned up the Royal Court and they dont have ANY return tickets. You have to get there for 7 on the day

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