Birmingham Repertory Theatre
15 August 2008 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Simon Stephens’ is a dark piece focussing on one week in London in 2005. The week in question tracks the euphoria of the announcement that London would be hosting the 2012 Olympics and juxtaposes it with the devastating events of 7/7. We are presented with six snapshots into the lives of a collection of people (in pairs or as individuals) who detail their experiences as the week progresses with all the twists and turns it throws at them. Pornography
Staging is sparse and raw (exposed cables run across the stage) with minimal props and the grubby black brickwork of the Traverse acting as the backdrop. This helps focus the attention entirely on the performances, which in turn serves to highlight the exceptional writing. Scenes are short and give us mere glimpses into the lives of the subjects but are so well presented as to draw us in immediately and wholeheartedly.
is darkly comic in parts but maintains a sinister undertone of a world on the brink of upheaval. Pornography
This is, quite simply, theatre at its very best. The horrific events of early July 2005 are presented in a sensitive yet powerful way, exploring their very real human impact. The message is clear and ever-present but Stephens has ensured that this does not overwhelm the simple and compelling set of narratives. This is an Edinburgh highlight and whilst its run may not afford everyone the opportunity to see it, its move to the Birmingham Rep in September will surely be followed by a tour - this is theatre too powerful to be missed.
- Joe McNulty
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