Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Glass Room, Hampstead Theatre

I for one welcome Ryan Craig's themes, which are big, whilst admitting that he sometimes manipulates characters to suit his subject. Still, at least he doesn't do that to people who aren't fictional constructs of his own imagination, eh?

Elena is a historian who denies the existence of Nazi gas chambers. Myles, the human rights lawyer hired to defend her, is in denial about his Jewish ancestry. Politics!

The play rests on a shaky premise in that Holocaust denial is not a legal offence in Britain. I also found it unrealistic the way that the actors were actually in a room with lots of people who were in the audience, and yet were pretending that they couldn't see them, as though there were some kind of invisible fourth wall between them.

If at times the play resembles a debating-chamber, it is at least pursuing an issue of burning topicality. And I prefer debating chambers to plays anyway.

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