Escaped Alone

5
Thu, 23rd Mar 17
Caryl Churchill's play directed by James Macdonald.

Escaped Alone ReviewProduced by the Royal Court Theatre this is a stunning new play form Carol Churchill which might not sit comfortably with some audiences.

After an initial Ayckbournesque opening in which we join a group of women enjoying a natter in the garden, we are thrown off kilter by increasingly bizarre post-apocalyptic narratives.

I'm not sure that tere is a simple interpretation of the play, and that is part of its glory as each person will get their own impression. The post-show Q&A we had clearly identified several possible interpretations from both cast and audience as well as a few voices of pure confusion. For myself, the garden was the world that affects us daily, our own lives reflected in those around us - the dystopian monologues are exaggerations of the real world's disasters and cruelties that we are all aware of but can't quite bring into our own experience. We have to get on with our own lives or drown in the enormity of things we can't seem to change.

For all that, this is an enjoyable text with lots of humour even though there were few laughs as we were all so intent on hearing every words and not missing a thing. The performances are superb and required enormous concentration to deliver and the non-garden scenes were beautifully separated though I was less keen on the fade to spot for some in-garden monologues. 

Checking the text, there are few italics to guide the production but the overall design and pace for this one worked particularly well. A brilliant night of theatre; script, production and performance all exemplary.


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