Monday, November 13, 2006

Zerbombt(Blasted), Barbican

Eleven years ago I called Blasted "naive tosh". Six years ago, I decided that this was because I didn't yet know that she was about to have a tragic life, so it wasn't my fault. Today I'm right.

The perrenial danger with Blasted is that it looks like a play of two halves. Of, course, that's because it is. But my unfailingly exclusive and conservative definition of what makes good theatre isn't going to be ruined by any old good theatre. So lets pretend it isn't.

It's lucky, then, that this production is tense from the start, because that allows me to make it sound as though this production isn't a production of two halves which is what the danger of doing a production of the play Blasted is. Ian, the drunk paranoid journalist, reacts nervously whenever the phone rings. Which is tense. There are even echoes of Pinter's The Dumb Waiter. Which is tense.

I still feel this is a young play. (Note - I use the word young in its pejorative sense.)

Halfway through, the set is blown apart, which is shocking. But far from seeming gratuitous, it is a reminder that we live in a world where everything can suddenly be ripped apart. Literally. It actually can. Actually.

What comes across unexpectedly in this production, is the way that Kane actually gives a fuck about her characters. I have even discovered an underlying lyricism in the play. How unexpected to discover the very qualities that make the play worthwhile in a production of the play!

It may not be much, but it is all I have to cling onto.

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