‘Submerges us in a ruthless corporate world’: THE HERE & THIS & NOW – Southwark Playhouse

In London theatre, Opinion, Plays, Reviews by Laura KresslyLeave a Comment

Southwark Playhouse, London – until 10 February 2018
Guest reviewer: Lara Alier

As I walk to my seat, my feet sink in grey carpet. On stage, four people sit in what it looks like an office. One of the characters, a man in a suit, tells us how one day he didn’t go to work and stayed at home in order to spend time with his family.

Simon Darwen‘s impeccable portrayal of this wannabe Wolf of Canary Wharf is the beginning of a series of monologues performed by the other three characters. Other scenes, interlaced with incomprehensible transitions, evoke questions on the realities of their lives. My natural skepticism prevents me from fully surrendering and completely enjoying this piece. Yet the actors lure me into joining a symphony of laughter, which is already worth the whole price of the entrance. Without concessions.

This play submerges us in the ruthless corporate world, exploring how it cunningly exploits more personal attitudes and touching stories. Taking advantage of the human need for connecting with others seems to be a powerful money-maker. But do we buy into it?

We are rushed into 2024. Becci Gemmel unapologetically masters the second half, throwing us into a dark narrative. Could this second half be a play on its own? Probably. Yet the grand finale is yet to come. There is no need to bombard us with strenuous music, or a pompous lighting display. We are given a chance to rest on our thoughts, to be carefully fed with a beautiful piece of visual poetry. My whole body relaxes, cradled like a baby by the excellent writing and directing choices.

To anyone looking to watch more plays this 2018, this will surely make you hungry for theatre.

The Here and This and Now runs through 10 February.

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Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.
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Laura Kressly on RssLaura Kressly on Twitter
Laura Kressly
Laura is a US immigrant who has lived in the UK since 2004. Originally trained as an actor with a specialism in Shakespeare, she enjoyed many pre-recession years working as a performer, director and fringe theatre producer. When the going got too tough, she took a break to work in education as a support worker, then a secondary school drama teacher. To keep up with the theatrical world, she started reviewing for Everything Theatre and Remotegoat in 2013. In 2015, Laura started teaching part time in order to get back into theatre. She is now a freelance fringe theatre producer and runs her independent blog, theplaysthethinguk.com.

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