Review: The Dark Earth and the Light Sky, Almeida Theatre

(With huge apologies to all concerned, especially to Alfred Lord Tennyson, this is to be read to the rhythm of The Lady of Shalott)

“It doesn’t look like a poem, but it is”

Tonight I went to Islington,
For theatre and lots of fun,
But this play it was not the one
(The) Dark Earth and the Light Sky
‘Tis written by the man Nick Dear,
The thought it did fill me with fear,
For Frankenstein made me feel queer,
With dialogue so dry.

This play’s ‘bout a poet called Ed
Edward Thomas his name ‘tis said,
Who went to war and came back dead,
And here we find out why.

He wrote poems like Adlestrop,
But longed to serve though he was Pop,
The thought of going o’er the top,
Appealed though he might die.

Played with some skill by Pip Carter,
His handsome voice filled th’Almeida,
But sympathy did not appear,
Ed’s not a likeable guy.
‘Tis oft the way with great artists,
Their gifts so praised, their faults permissed,
And Ed’s quite the misogynist,
Which makes you wonder why.
His friends love him as do women,
Including Hattie Morahan,
As his tolerant wife Helen,
Who d’serves a better guy.
Design is good which pleasèd me,
Narration’s split annoyingly,
The fourth wall breaks repeatedly,
It made me want to cry.
I did not like this play as such,
I found it lacked a human touch,
Without illuminating much,
To answer why, Ed, why.

Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes (with interval)
Programme cost: £3.50
Booking until 12th January

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