From: Friday, 21st April 2006
To: Saturday, 20 May 2006
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'I don't blame the war. The war was all right. I miss it. It's just you come back to this.' Summertime, England. Danny's back from Basra. He rekindles an old flame. He buys a new gun. Motortown is a blistering road trip through the home front at the start of the new millennium.
25 April 2006
The Royal Court has at last come up with a play on its main stage that is worthy of celebrating 50 years of the English Stage Company. Simon Stephens’ Motortown charts a bleak homecoming and possesses three appropriate qualities: a monomaniac, psychotic hero in the vein of John Osborne’s misfits; a deeply awkward post-Sarah Kane challenge to the liberal consensus on both domestic violence and war-mongering; and an obvious, rather brilliant, debt of honour to the first European working class tragedy, Georg Buchner’s
The motortown in question is not Detroit, but Dagenham in Essex, home of the Ford plant in Britain. Danny (Daniel Mays) is an ex-soldier who has served in Basra during the recent conflict. Like Woyzeck, he has had “extraordinary dreams”, and he passes through the play’s eight scenes (the running time is 95 minutes) in a trance of dislocation and despair.
His retarded, or autistic (we are not sure which), brother tells ...
Latest User Review
22.214.171.124) - 18 May 2006:
Before Ramin Gray's staging of this grim, terse play began, I thought I'd find the actors and stage management constantly being onstage to be pretentious and disctracting; in fact I found it a profound relief to be alienated and reminded that it's only a play during some of the nastier moments such as when Daniel Mays' homecoming soldier brutalises and murders a 14 year old girl. While I think Stephens' script has some good black comedy and genuine power when describing the adriftness of the returning soldier, I did ultimately feel that the piece is a little far fetched and indeed gratuitous. That said, the entire cast, led by Mays' dead-eyed anti-hero, perform brilliantly. Certainly not for the faint hearted....