Thursday, 9 August 2007

A Play in a Lorry is All Right if You Can Feel it

Something that has frustrated me during my time up in Edinburgh is the terrible predictability of the critical response to certain shows. Take for example a show written by a middle class, white girl that features non-white actors and is set in a lorry container, so thus ticks the site-specific box.

The show in question is called The Container and although it is a quality piece of theatre it is by no means deserving of the critical plaudits and I’ll tell you why: the writing is simply not up to scratch, it swings between naïve and hectoring and at times cramming inappropriate language into the mouths of characters.

The acting is of the solid sort, with some flashes of real intensity and brilliance but is at times unbelievable and one tonal. The telling truth is that the site-specific nature of the piece, wedged into the back of a lorry soon loses its fear and uniqueness as the space is neutered by the scenography, the dialogue and to a lesser degree the acting.

A real shame, I had high expectations of a show illuminating and extending the debate on immigration but instead it packages neatly so that the critics can feel they are doing something by reviewing it.


  1. Your last comment was very helpful to me in bringing something that's been bothering me for a long time to words: In our society, it's not necessary to be useful, just so long as you feel useful. That's one of the reasons those false email warnings we keep getting in our in-box show up. The person on the other end feels like they're being useful when they forward it on.

    Thanks! When are we going to hear about your performance?


  2. In Minneapolis the ones that were box office, had swearing and nudity.

    Some really good shows, didn't draw as well as others, that weren't as good.


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