The war at home

that faceBack in 2007, Polly Stenham caused a furore with her debut play That Face. Not only did it mark a change of direction for the Royal Court by turning an unflinching gaze upon the upper-middle-class world familiar to many of its audience members – and exposing churning domestic relations, addiction, fractured psyches and mental health problems beneath the veneer of respectability that comes with wealth and status – but Stenham wrote the piece when she was only 19.

The Landor Theatre’s revival doesn’t benefit from the same shock factor, nor the star casting (Lindsay Duncan and Doctor Who-to-be Matt Smith were on blistering form in the original production), which means some flaws are more visible, but this is still a gripping, fast-paced 90-minute piece with a brilliant undertone of acerbic humour. Stenham’s searing emotional frankness impresses, but so too does her dramatic skill. The combination produces a portrait of familial dysfunction that would have Freud rubbing his hands in glee.

Read my full Bargain Theatreland review here

This entry was posted in Journalism, Theatre and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.