Tim Hochstrasser reviews Joe Orton’s The Ruffian On The Stairs now playing at The Hope Theatre.
Author Archive | Tim Hochstrasser
My best revival recommendation would go to Antic Disposition’s HENRY V played in the evocative setting of Temple Church. It is very hard to find something new to say about one of the most familiar plays in the canon, but this production developed a fully thought through and reconfigured setting in the period of the […]
The play itself would get four stars from me, but the outstanding production values and overall experience of the evening enable me to add a final star at the top of the tree.
The action interweaves the stories and mounting crises of four women whose lives are in different ways based on a series of lies. It is billed as a comedy drama but the tone is mostly sober and bleak, with the one exception being the relationship forged out of lies for fun.
With the death of provincial repertory theatre, the connections between the theatre world of London and ‘the provinces’ have atrophied, and where The Miniaturists could make a real difference is in taking their project of fully-staged short plays into other parts of the country and gathering in work from local authors.
This is an immensely polished, professional and stylish evening which marks another example of how contemporary cabaret is still exploring and pushing at the boundaries of how to best combine words and music.
This was one of the most demanding nights I have had in the theatre as reviewer or audience member in a long while, and that was wholly justified by the challenge and revelation of the play. We shall hear more of this author and these actors before long, to be sure.
United We Stand is a powerful refutation of this view and a reassertion of the continuing value of political theatre. Its channelling of moral passion, a powerful narrative, evocative music, self-aware humour, and a campaigning cause produces a compelling evening that earns and deserves respect.