Some dislike it hot
But, as today is press day for the NT's production of Pinter's The Hothouse you will likely be sandwiched armpit deep on the tube next to someone reading an Evening Standard review (or Guardian depending on your train's demographics). And after sitting/sleeping through the performance last night I feel obliged to offer up a disclaimer: there is good reason it was written in 1958 and not produced until 1980. It's just a shame it didn't stay gathering dust.
The Hothouse is not, by Pinter standards, a subtle play. (In this sense, it's the perfect Pinter for Pinterphobes.) It is an unusually antic variation on the usual Pinter themes (you know, Fascism, humanity's inhumanity, the unknowability of people, the slipperiness of memory and language). But the NT's production was everything good theatre is not: forced and unoriginal. Following in the existentialist tradition, in addition to writing absurd characters and situations, sitting through a production of The Hothouse felt absurd in and of itself.
It certainly makes Saint Joan the divine option of current NT offerings. And that has nothing to do with the effigy of a French woman being burned at the stake. I pray thee, nothing.
National Theatre, until 4th Sept
seats from £10, book here