Moments of dark humour are scattered throughout Edition #6 of the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper but elsewhere it is a bit more hit and miss.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.
In the claustrophobic atmosphere of Chloe Lamford’s design, Vicky Featherstone’s production of Gundog provides too little variation of tone, especially as Simon Longman’s storytelling resists the propulsion of forward narrative.
Simon Longman’s new play, directed by Vicky Featherstone, is being presented as part of the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme until 10 March. Here’s what critics have had to say about it…
An interesting corrective to those soft-focus romantic images of rural equanimity, in the end, Gundog doesn’t quite come off. But, like grandad’s homily to his family, Longman too has bravely tried to capture something of the eternal and intangible: human attachment to the land.
Gundog at the Royal Court Theatre joins other plays in recent years about farming and rural life, standing out in its bleakness, thematic complexity and disarming poetry. This small play has the epic roar of modern canon.
It’s conspicuously worthy to try to combine elements of poverty, migration, feminism, dysfunction and dementia but neither Simon Longman’s tedious time-skipping script nor Vicky Featherstone’s static direction can relieve the infectious boredom of Gundog at the Royal Court.
There is nothing about Gundog at the Royal Cout that will make you feel good about where we are today. It is a dark and disturbing tale about the state of play in modern rural Britain. That means it won’t be for everyone, but I was mesmerised.
New misery fest about the hard graft of rural life is symbolic, but it really lacks drama and resonance.
The Royal Court Theatre has today announced new season of work for autumn/winter 2017/18. The programme includes five world premieres.