Review: Lands, Bush Theatre

Devised by actors Leah Brotherhead and Sophie Steer, Antler’s Lands is a quirky treat in the studio at the Bush Theatre

“I CAN’T get off”

Leah likes a jigsaw, Sophie is fond of her little trampoline. But in the world of Lands, their preferences have turned into something more. Leah fills out her puzzles by giving detailed commentary on each jigsaw piece and Sophie, well she can’t remember when she actually last stopped bouncing. 

Created by actors Leah Brotherhead and Sophie Steer with director Jaz Woodcock-Stewart, Lands emerges as a gnomic study of compulsive behaviour and how it impacts on those we love. Trapped in their own cycles of addiction, we watch as their unspecified emotional connection becomes severely tested. 

Its vagueness might frustrate some, especially in the final third of its 80 minutes running time as it doesn’t really develop much from its main theme of emotional estrangement. But I found it hypnotically engaging – Brotherhead’s running descriptions are genius and Steer has a real openness to her performance.

And that lack of specificity works in its favour. Whether they’re lovers, exes, sisters, friends, their frustrations at each other have moments of pungent relatability, even if few of us have the core strength to bounce as much as Steer. Intriguingly interesting.

Running time: 1 hour (without interval)
Photos: Helen Murray
Lands is booking at the Bush Theatre until 1st December

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