‘Worth your time & more so than the book’: ALYS, ALWAYS – Bridge Theatre

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Rachel WilliamsLeave a Comment

Bridge Theatre, London – until 30 March 2019

When I first heard that the Bridge Theatre was doing an adaptation of Harriet Lane’s novel Alys, Always I immediately went out and bought the book. I read it in a couple of sittings (it’s not exactly War and Peace) and was very confused as to why, out of all the books in the world, this one was getting a stage treatment.

Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t dislike the book. It’s a decent little paperback, really well written and entertaining but – at the risk of sounding like an horrific snob – it’s the sort of thing that I would read on a sunlounger, y’know? The sort of thing you buy for a longhaul flight and leave on the plane. It’s fine, it’s not exactly earth shattering. So why go to the effort of adapting it?

And cards on the table, The Bridge’s super stylish production never really answered that question for me. I still don’t fully understand why this show exists. That said, I’m glad that it does because I found it so much better than the book and, somewhat to my surprise, actually really enjoyed it.

Lucinda Coxon is responsible for the stage treatment that deserves much of the c