The Coming Storm
16 November 2012 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Plays devised by committee by their nature have to include contributions from all involved. The result can be an unwieldy and self-satisfied production. The Coming Storm is conceived and devised by the six members of Forced Entertainment and director Tim Etchells is reluctant to impose discipline or offer clarity. The result is a show with a childlike sense of anarchy but one that is over-long and confusing. Ironically the show opens with a monologue on the elements that are required for a good story. Gradually each of the company begins (but rarely finishes) their own story and interrupts and criticises those of others. The tales vary from surreal to mundane and there is repetition – a ‘Sophie’s Choice’ type story crops up twice. The cast take the opportunity, during one particularly dull tale, to erect the stage set and, from that point on, the stories take place against interruptions from sound and visual distractions in the background. The Coming Storm seems to make a number of points but it is hard to be sure if they are intentional. The ability of the listener to shape and influence a tale is shown when a profound deathbed story is interrupted by a series of trivial questions. A speaker so wrapped up in his own eloquence that he doesn’t notice a suicide attempt in the background shows that storytelling which ignores the audience is a selfish act. The play demonstrates that speech will fail to communicate if there is physical comedy or noise in the background. You certainly can’t concentrate on the stories with all the sodding distractions going on in the play. Perhaps the play is meant to illustrate the difficulty in communicating effectively but, to be honest, it becomes very hard to care. is fitfully amusing but nowhere near as much as the cast seem to think. The background antics soon start to become irritating. All of the stories, and the show itself, go on so long that they become dull. The lack of a clear point leads to a very weak ending. Throughout the production you are reminded of the exasperated advice of the great Steve Martin: when telling stories have a point – it makes it so much more interesting for the listener! The Coming Storm - Dave Cunningham Related Content Back to Northwest Homepage
Subscribe to our free newsletter
Featured Editor's Picks
: The economic impact of Arts & Culture in the UK Infographic When Culture Secretary Maria Miller called for the arts to make their "economic case" for subsidy, t... Plays Cast: Harry Potter star in Southwark Moment, more for Branagh's Macbeth Bonnie Wright, best known for playing Ginny Weasley in the Harry Potter films, will make her stage d... Brief Encounter with ... The Kite Runner's Ben Turner Ben Turner stars in the stage version of the bestselling book The Kite Runner, which runs at Liverpo... Titus Andronicus (RSC) This latest production of Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus, to borrow from football punditry, is a p... : Britain's outdoor theatres Take Five With half-term approaching, the weather (hopefully) set to improve for the bank holiday weekend and ... West End Live returns to Trafalgar Square next month West End Live, a weekend of free entertainment from top London shows, will return to Trafalgar Squar... : 'I carry the ghost of Gregory Peck on my shoulders' Robert Sean Leonard Actor Robert Sean Leonard is currently playing Atticus Finch in Timothy Sheader's production of To K... To Kill A Mockingbird Twenty years ago, a young Robert Sean Leonard appeared on the London stage with Alan Alda in... X Factor musical titled I Can't Sing!, opens Palladium March 2014 The forthcoming X Factor musical will be called I Can't Sing! The Musical and will premiere at the L... Donmar stages Nick Payne premiere, Wesker's Roots & Tom Hiddleston in Coriolanus The Donmar Warehouse has announced its new season, which features the premiere of Nick Payne's new p...