The National Theatre’s War Horse certainly lives up to all of the hype. I’m a hardened theatre critic, aren’t I? However, like most of the inspired audience, I was brought to my feet, and to tears, by this magnificent production.
Findlay’s finely tuned production is full of nuance and provides a singular, emotive finale in which responsibility, influence, life choices, aspiration and limitation are all beautifully conveyed within Miss Brodie herself and her relationship with her “gerls”.
There are definitely some nice ideas at work here, but the dramaturgical execution is pretty poor. Unbelievable dialogue and tenuous narrative events are too big to be held up by the story and concept.
Directed by Natalie Abrahami, Machinal is one of those rediscoveries that reflects the zeitgeist. Written in 1928 by Sophie Treadwell – eight years after all women in the US were allowed to vote – Machinal doesn’t take the plight of women for granted.
Section 2 is an important and timely piece of theatre, raising awareness of the far-reaching impact of mental illness, and sectioning in particular. More than that though, it’s a play about friendship and human relationships.
This beautifully written show is hilarious, heart-warming and painfully realistic; an emotional rollercoaster that will leave you in tears and wanting to hug your own loved ones tight. Don’t forget your tissues.