Friday, 23 May 2014

Theatre 2014: Review Seventeen

Another Country, The Trafalgar Studios, London. May 2014.

It has been an incredible little while for me in May and I've packed a lot into a few weeks. This means that some of the events that happened towards the start of the month are starting to be a little fuzzy around the edges when it comes to details. However as I blog for pleasure and to create a memory for me I'm not too worried about this.

Rebecca and I had another one of our mammoth London weekends recently, and although this time we packed in slightly less than usual due to a mini heatwave we still saw three plays.

The first was the sublime Another Country with a cast of young actors - many of them only just out of college.  You'd never have guessed this and it was a shame that the theatre was over half empty for the matinee, this worked in our favour though as we were upgraded from seats at the back of the auditorium to the third row!

The entire play takes place in a boarding school and has many themes, the main one being that the old boy network rules completely and that to be different in anyway works against you. The school has been rocked by a suicide and there is a lot of soul searching taking place as well as a lot of hypocrisy.  Another plot thread is that one of the character is Julian Mitchell's idea of the Cambridge Spy Guy Bennett and how his experiences at school led him along the path he took.

This last plot strand is often the one focused on most by critics but I feel that in this revival it is a smaller part - mainly because the scandal of the Cambridge Spies is now so far away that many of the younger audience may not have heard of it, and because unlike The History Boys there is no epilogue stating where the boys go after leaving school. The friendships and the hypocrisy are what I drew.

I loved the play, and while I will look out for the film version it is going to have to be amazing to be better than the play I saw.

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