I have a love for shows with shiny, sparkly packaging that, underneath this tinsel, have a web of big issues and questions. Instructions for Correct Assembly is just that type of play.
The result in Instructions for Correct Assembly at the Royal Court may be that we’re not as moved as we feel we ought to be, though there’s much dark wit here. Maybe we’re the problem.
In what has been a slightly over-earnest Winter season for the Royal Court, Instructions for Correct Assembly is their best show since Anatomy of a Suicide last summer, and both use a family structure as the basis for explaining the long-term effects of grief and loss.
The trouble with Instructions for Correct Assembly is that for a drama which depends on the contrast between humanoid robots and real flesh and blood, there are no sympathetic human beings.
Instructions For Correct Assembly is a profoundly compassionate, intelligent, heartbreaking play: about parenthood and grief, self-delusion, and the commodification and competitiveness surrounding the idea of an ideal family.
Jane Horrocks will feature in the world premiere of Instructions for Correct Assembly by Verity Bargate Award winner Thomas Eccleshare, which runs at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs from 7 April to 19 May 2018.