It is still a relatively rare experience to see a working class drama that invests its characters with a profound and complex, even a poetic interior, life, but from the first moments of Richard Hawley and Chris Bush’s Standing At the Sky’s Edge when a workman stops to greet the beauty of the dawn and the sound of birdsong, it is clear that this is no ordinary representation of
The Band Played On, the latest show from Chris Bush, is a tuneful celebration of stoicism, resilience and humour.
Hir is set in a settlement somewhere in California’s Central Valley, where plywood houses have been built on landfill sites, and dozens lie empty, abandoned during an economic downturn. All is not well in the Connors’ cheap abode: fiftysomething Arnold is a plumber who lost his job to a Chinese-American.
Tracy Letts’ Bug at the Found111 space is a pressure cooker of paranoid chaos, as fascinating as it is terrifying. It draws a thin line between reality and neurosis, trapping the audience in a claustrophobic motel room, which represents both a cosy haven and a nausea inducing prison. The nature of fear, reality and human companionship are all held literally under the microscope in a breathlessly disquieting evening.