Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Theatre 2016: Review Eight (cinema broadcast)

Hangmen, from the Wyndhams Theatre, National Theatre Live at Cinema City.

This was a play that had been on my radar for a while but one that I wasn't quite interested enough in to scramble for tickets and fight with the trains to see, thus when a live cinema broadcast was announced I was very happy.

I didn't know anything about this play before going in and to be honest the opening scene was a bit of a shock, but really effective.  It set the scene between the darkness of the topic and the way in which it was going to be presented wonderfully and from the outset you weren't sure if it was actually okay to laugh.

Once the action moved to the pub it became even more claustrophobic and the worry as to whether or not you should laugh became even more pronounced. There were definitely comic characters but at the same time putting people to death is not a joke.

The not knowing what to think continued right through the first half, especially once we meet the creepy, sorry menacing, Mooney - even thinking about his actions nearly a week on sends shivers up my spine, that's powerful writing and acting!

I was thoroughly unsettled at the interval and this continued through the second act with the sense of dooming growing with every scene. I'm not going to go further here because I found the end to be very clever but at the same time asked as many questions as it answered.  I might not think of a family box of Weetabix in the same light again and run very fast if anyone asks you to "smell my hair!"

I'm pleased that I had the chance to see this on the screen and hope that more theatres join in the Live Broadcast schedule over time.

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