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