Sunday 17 October 2010

Enlightenment: Hampstead Theatre

I hesitated before I wrote my review of Enlightenment.

It's consumable, not over intellectual but actually pretty provocative and thoughful - combining shocking with watchable.

The staging is very sharp and clever - minimal, clean, simple and yet feel innovative and modern.

Crucially the play is set in a landscape that feels believable and I found myself reflecting on people I knew who could be in similar situations, as parents, as travellers, as troubled young people drifting in a wider world.

Should you go and see it: the answer has to be yes, as Edward Hall's first outing it works, but also the acting from Tom Weston-Jones and Julie Graham is incredibly compelling. Emotional. Intimate. The way in which you are drawn into the story is very compelling and the cold clarity of the set provides a great back-drop.

For my own part I found the extent to which the end was unknown pretty strong - the imagery was very clever (a simple bed sheet for goodness sakes), but it took a series of difficult family realities and brought them home... I suspect some real recognitions are laced throughout for most individuals, couples and families who go and see it.

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