Playwright Torben Betts has turned to the kitchen for inspiration with his latest play, Monogamy, delving into the pantry of celebrity chef Caroline Mortimer and discovering that there’s no recipe for happiness among her haute cuisine success.
Some issues do best as satirical or farcical comedies: English class division, illicit sex, misunderstanding. Others sit less easily with the comic muse: cot death, grief, young lives wasted in war. Torben Betts, in this terrific play, is comfortable handling both, and does so with almost total success. It ran briefly in multi-ethnic, diverse East London: but with this new touring cast will be able to show a wider Britain to itself: at first teasingly, but then with an admirable sad seriousness.
Fortune favours the brave, and the meteorological riskiness of outdoor theatre sometimes pays handsomely. A great heron flew over, squawking doom, just as Irina screamed her frantic possession of the appalling Trigorin and Chekhov’s tragicomic household moved towards disaster. The moon rose over the card-players as beyond the window under a darkening sky Konstantin found a deranged, ruined Nina. The thunderstorm and sluicing rain from behind Jon Bausor’s strange mirrored canopy were false, but the intensity and brooding darkness of old Sorin’s struggling estate were no more or less real than the rustling trees of the real park. Perfect.
Edinburgh aside, my August theatregoing has been sporadic, but here are a few shows I’ve seen recently that are worth catching if you can, especially now that the late summer sunshine seems to have abandoned us. As usual, I list them below in closing date order. If you follow me on Twitter (@TerriPaddock) – please […]