Review: Royal Court’s Living Newspaper #3

The third edition of Royal Court’s Living Newspaper moves online only, with some seriously fierce political writing this time around

“You want me stuffing my face in Pret A Manger so your city can feel real again”

The flexible and modular nature of the Royal Court’s Living Newspaper series means that it is sufficiently adaptable to cope with ever-changing lockdown restrictions. Previous editions had the option of being consumed either digitally or in-person at Sloane Square but this third edition is online only. #3

As a multi-authored, rapid-response foray into theatre-making, structured loosely around the section of a newspaper, it possesses an up-to-the-minute urgency that is rarely captured seen onstage. Pithy soundbites from Boris Johnson are torn apart (in the corking Crocus of Hope that forms the first page), the hollowness of Emily in Paris is exposed, and there’s variety in the vitriol too. Continue reading “Review: Royal Court’s Living Newspaper #3”

Review: Dream Pill – Charged, Soho Theatre

Part of the Charged season at Soho Theatre

“You will like working here…”

Part of Charged 1, Rebecca Prichard’s Dream Pill tells the harrowing story of two young Nigerian girls, 9 and 10, who have been somehow locked into the sex-slave industry and kept prisoner both physically and mentally, playing on their spiritual beliefs which have been manipulated against them. It uses the setting of the downstairs restaurant well as the play is set in a cellar beneath some less than salubrious establishment and the faint hubbub of the Soho Theatre bar thus serves an effective purpose.

Danielle Vitalis as the bolshier, more gregarious Bola drives much of the narrative, her plain speaking presenting harsh truths to us with a, but Samantha Pearl as the more timid Tunde gives one of the most affecting performances of the whole six plays, Clearly damaged by her experiences, yet still hungry for affection and approval, she broke my heart with her wide eyes and hushed speech. Director Tessa Walker has them walking throughout the audience, addressing the audience directly and in such an uncompromising manner that one ends up not begrudging the temporary if unconscionable ‘relief’ provided by the dream pills they receive in return for services rendered.