This week the London theatre bloggers – including syndicate Mates Johnny Fox and Laura Kressly – discuss The Master Builder starring Ralph Fiennes, the musical adaptation of Mrs Henderson Presents, Broadway puppet transfer Hand to God, and Off-West End, Weald, just finished at the Finborough Theatre.
Being only playwright Daniel Foxsmith’s third full length play is rather a surprise, as WEALD is a work that radiates expert craftsmanship, which obviously shows experience is not a necessary component in comparison to sheer talent when constructing a masterpiece. Finborough Theatre, one of London’s leading venues for new works, is no surprise to be the theatre showing this very classy two hander.
As picturesque as agrarian life may be with it’s rustic farmhouses, sweeping land and livestock, it is not an easy one for older and younger generations who just want to make a decent living. Faded and weather worn, Sam looks after his horses as he’s done his whole life; the younger Jim is all bouncy, boyish banter. The two clearly have much affection for each other in this emotive story of a tragic hero’s fall. But Daniel Foxsmith’s Weald, though full of poetry, passion and the ability to find the audience’s raw nerves, at just over an hour it sells itself short and lacks the sweat and earthiness of farm labour.