Circle Mirror TransformationRoyal Court Theatre Local
Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:45 PM
Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:57 PM
Posted 16 May 2013 - 05:35 AM
Posted 06 July 2013 - 11:08 PM
It’s certainly unlike anything I’ve seen before. Annie Baker’s play comprises of a series of group exercises: memory games, improvisation, freeze framing. It’s incredibly episodic, yet Baker’s genius is that she turns this into a study of character, of human nature. It charts a six week therapy ‘finding yourself’ course, led by Marty (Imelda Staunton), in a community hall in an American town. There are four of them in the class, including Marty’s husband, James. We see each person slowly develop and change, they form relationships, others break down. What seem at first to be absurd, abstract exercises start to mirror real life.
It’s very very funny, but there’s also something beautiful about it. We get to know, and care, for these people, and we’re troubled by what is revealed. And the ending is masterful.
I cannot fault the cast of five. It’s acting of the very highest calibre. They’re totally exposed, and this play could so easily turn into a satire. So so easily. But here everything feels natural. If you walked in on this, you wouldn’t know they were acting.
It’s also got longer pauses than any Pinter play I’ve sat through. But as Baker says in the playtext, they’re necessary. There are moments of wonderful awkwardness. People not brave enough to speak. People who are uncomfortable, self-conscious, not willing to take a risk.
At approx 2hrs, it’s long. A couple of scenes could be cut I think, if only for audience comfort. It’s played end on, front row on the stage. Leather benches (from the Royal Court Upstairs), in a steep rake. It’s very hot too. No air con, sadly. I was wriggling in my seat by the end. All sticky, sore bum! Take a bottle of water with you. Unreserved, queue formed 10-15 mins before house opened, which was at 7.45pm (8pm start). Sold out, though one walk out mid-way. And one loud phone, despite personal reminders at the door, and several prominent signs.
The Rose Lipman building is easy to find. Max 5 mins walk from Haggerston Overground Station. The directions on the Royal Court website are v clear. Just print them off. There’s a café in the building, which says it serves coffee but doesn’t. Also says it serves croissants and cake, but doesn’t. Says it serves sandwiches and soup…. I’d had my dinner so didn’t ask about them. Went to the pub on the way to the building from the station- American grill type fare. Good quality, if a touch expensive.
Don’t worry if you get there early- lots of seating (resembles the Royal Court with leather sofas and books everywhere), plus free wifi.
Posted 06 July 2013 - 11:50 PM
Apparently the author's latest play upset the theatre's subscribers, so much so that the artistic director sent an 'apology' to them which, to be frank, I think is appalling.
Here's an article from the New York Times on the kerfuffle -
Posted 07 July 2013 - 12:33 AM
Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:31 AM
Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:12 AM
Rush to it
So hope they can extend cause a transfer to a 'theatre' might lose something
Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:22 AM
Posted 07 July 2013 - 09:26 AM
One of the best things I've seen in ages x
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