A gripping and terrifically acted piece of imaginatively staged theatre. Yet another example of how wonderful this production house is. Why some people seem to want a beginning, a middle, and an end (and in that order) amazes me. This is theatre so suspend disbelief, sit back and enjoy the ride. Sometimes it's bumpy and sometimes it's smooth, but whatever it is it's a journey so make what you will of it, don't let us make demands on the writer, that's their job, let them make the demands on us! A huge Well Done to the Bush for yet another example of their talent to pick a winner.
18 Oct 09
2nd May 1997 purports to be about events on the night of the New Labour landslide election victory, but of the three unconnected sections only the first directly relates to that night. The other two feel like ideas which have not been fully developed but have had a few references thrown in to try to create a theme. Consequently the first is also the best. Geoffrey Beevers is excellent as a sickly Tory MP facing defeat and the recognition that he has not made a real difference during his career. Linda Broughton superbly conveys a supportive wife who has sacrificed much to support his career and now clings to the hope that he might find time for her. The next two scenes are well acted (the two teenagers are far more believable than some of those in Punk Rock) and Phoebe Waller-Bridge deserves kudos for courage in taking on a role that leaves her physically and emotionally exposed in such an intimate space. Jack Thorne offers no sense of the failure and disillusionment of the past twelve years, but instead has written three interesting vignettes but with no attempt to provide any connection between them. - David Baxter
25 Sep 09
This really is very very good. Perhaps surprisingly, the three disparate scenes set on the same night / morning combine together to make a deeply satisfying and thought provoking play. Given that you spend only 30 minutes with each character, the depth of the characterisation is astonishing. This is helped by your proximity in a traverse staging and six outstanding performances of such subtlty you are reading every nod and eyebrow raised. The Bush at its absolute best. - Gareth James
21 Sep 09
A superbly well acted production. It's one of those times when the gaze at the actors doesn't falter because of their command of the stage. It starts off with the slowest scene unfortunately. A tory grandee about to lose his seat. This is the only section to fault. The dialogue drags a little, and I feel it would have been better to make him a little angrier and less resigned to his fate. But the other two scenes are very engaging between a post party couple and two young schoolboys both celebrating the election victory. Comments have been made it doesn't have a message. That's difficult because its set in 1997, and is not a retrospective. I think we all can get the message. Think of the hope in 1997, and think where we are now with Gordon Brown's paralysed, yet Orwellian government. - Steve B
18 Sep 09
"lacking an over-arching cohesive message"
because that's what we all want isn't it? - Brace
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