Have you seen the great reviews for our Featured Show, the 40th anniversary revival of Dennis Potter’s controversial masterpiece Brimstone and Treacle, which continues at London’s Hope Theatre until 20 May 2017. A selection of some of our favourite review quotes are gathered below…
“All I want is the England I used to know. The England I remember.
I simply want the world to stop just where it is – and go back a bit. ” Intense and macabre, prophetic and darkly funny, Dennis Potter’s infamous play Brimstone and Treacle exposes the horror lurking in Middle England minds. Behind floral curtains, Mr and Mrs Bates care for their daughter, left injured and insensible following a car crash. A young visitor with a silver tongue crashes into their lives, but is he their saviour, a thief or the Devil himself?
Brimstone and Treacle was originally written as a BBC Play for Today in 1976, but was initially banned on release due to its shocking and disturbing content. Today the work’s depiction of an England as a powder keg of prejudice and fear is more relevant than ever.
The anniversary production is directed by The Hope Theatre’s Off-West End Award-winning artistic director Matthew Parker and designed by Rachael Ryan. The cast are: Olivia Beardsley, Stephanie Beattie, Fergus Leathem and Paul Clayton.
Brimstone and Treacle runs at The Hope Theatre until 20 May 2017 only.
Helen McWilliams: “What’s notable about this 40th anniversary revival, which has been innovatively directed by The Hope Theatre’s artistic director Matthew Parker, is the boundless sub-text that flows throughout the piece… Fergus Leathem is deliciously devilish and cunningly creepy as Martin… I can imagine no better actor for the part.”
Tanya Jones: “This production, tightly directed by Matthew Parker, has lost none of the punch of the original play, and could not be more timely… This reviewer urges you to go and see it to decide for yourself.
Dave Hollander: “Under Matthew Parker’s attentive direction, the ensemble works slickly… Fergus Leathem’s suave, Orton-esque conman… A gruff, yet well-rounded, portrayal by Paul Clayton… Olivia Beardsley’s writhing, defenceless Patricia is a superb study in physicality… Tightly directed… Chilling and darkly amusing revival.”
AJ Dehany: “Director Matthew Parker has a penchant for the dark comedy of the horrific, and his production of this challenging piece doesn’t flinch from Potter’s vision of life as metaphysical pain and horror… In such a brutal play, the performances are achingly tender… Brimstone and Treacle is unpleasant but unforgettable… It’s brutal and in-your-face, doesn’t stint on the physical and emotional violence, and doesn’t give us any easy answers.”
Cindy Marcolina: “Dennis Potter’s 1976 work finds new life under direction by Matthew Parker…. Leathem’s macabre humour and timing are impeccable, and his continuous nods to the audience make us creepily complicit… Paul Clayton and Stephanie Beattle are precise and vividly British as the shattered couple… Aa singular and disquietingly funny piece of theatre.”
Lizzi Dyer: “40 years later, Matthew Parker’s revival proves the play has lost none of its power to shock and disturb… At the centre of it all is Fergus Leathem, genuinely quite terrifying as the psychopathic Martin, with a fixed grin but empty eyes… A gripping production, beautifully performed, and, fascinatingly – and uncomfortably – relevant”
Greg Wetherall: “A thought-provoking, challenging production… A set meticulously ascribed to 70s detail… Creeping with portent.”
★★★★ National Student Magazine
Elizabeth Bell: “Darkly humourous… The cast of four are a well-oiled machine… Rachel Ryan’s set design is so intricately detailed, The Hope is truly transformed… The shifts between naturalism and the absurd keep you on the edge of your seat.”
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