The combination of sand, water, and romantic moon makes for a touching image towards the end of the play. It is beautifully lit by the talents of Charles Balfour and, for that one moment, it seems as though the shifting, gritty presence of the comatose sand has been worthwhile. Dominic Rowan’s rascally Sid is full blooded and he makes the most of what the part offers. George Mackay is impressive as Richard, vibrant, compelling and suitably obsessive.
Ah, Wilderness! Young Vic 4 stars In his 1932 play Ah, Wilderness, Eugene O’Neill returns to familiar themes such as family life, alcoholism and thwarted idealism but it stands out among his work for having a lightness of touch and event moments of comedy. Set in Connecticut on July 4 in 1906, it is a nostalgic family drama that is said to be O’Neill’s reinvention of his own less than happy childhood brought up by a distant, drug-addicted mother. In Ah, Wilderness!, the central character of 17-year-old Richard Miller is roughly the same age that young Eugene would have been in 1906. But, instead of a dysfunctional family, there is a sweet, loving mother and a father who is stern but a big softy underneath, both proud of their poetry-loving son. The play’s charm is beautifully captured in a new, trimmed-down production directed by Natalie Abrahami at the Young Vic. … Read more