Jaz Hutchins and Adeline Waby in Tender Napalm at the King's Head Theatre

‘A mind-expanding experience’: TENDER NAPALM – King’s Head Theatre

In Featured Shows, London theatre, Native, Opinion, Plays by Aleks SierzLeave a Comment

King's Head Theatre, London - until 20 November 2021 I had a mind-expanding experience this week. And, listen, there’s still a chance for you to have one too. I’m talking about the exceptional and extraordinary piece of theatre that is Philip Ridley's 2011 wonderama Tender Napalm, which is running at the King’s Head Theatre until the end of this week. This fantasmagorical play, whose imaginative power still feels immaculately fresh, is both an eye-bogglingly entertaining verbal space tour and a gut-punching account of love and loss. A glittering mash-up of desert islands, tsunamis, unicorns, dolphins, serpents, monkeys and flowers, and atom bombs, it is a tone poem that collides the language of love with emotional truth, all lit up by the sickly fears of the age of terrorism (which, following the Liverpool taxi bomb, we know is not over). It’s a mouthwateringly superb piece of writing. This fantastic revival, directed by Max Harrison, is performed with terrific energy by Jaz Hutchins and Adeline Waby who have an electric chemistry on stage that holds your attention and never lets it go. It’s a really great show, which, in the words of the Ridley poem that is included in the programme, is guaranteed to “sparkle you up”. Go now before it’s too late.  

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Aleks Sierz
Aleks Sierz FRSA is a theatre critic, and author of the seminal study of new 1990s playwrights, In-Yer-Face Theatre. His other books include Rewriting the Nation, The Theatre of Martin Crimp, John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger, The Methuen Drama Guide to Contemporary British Playwrights and Modern British Playwriting. His latest book (co-authored with Lia Ghilardi) is The Time Traveller’s Guide to British Theatre. He also works as a journalist, broadcaster, and lecturer. Aleks blogs independently at www.sierz.co.uk and tweets at @alekssierz.

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