09 June 2008

Contractions by Mike Bartlett

The Manager - Julia Davis
Emma - Anna Madeley

Director Lyndsey Turner
Lighting Nicki Brown
Sound David McSeveny

A deliciously intense 90 minutes. They was staged in a rehearsal room in the bowls of the Royal Court to which we were herded in to five minutes before the production began. An apparently ridiculous exchange between a personnel manager and an employee doing with the firm's Code of Conduct directives what Dave Gorman did with horoscopes last year.

Such were the magnificent performances (and I only saw Julia Davis from behind for the duration) that the fantastic premise of the piece seemed utterly plausible. Julia Davis was so calmly persuasive and Anna Madeley achieved an incredible blend of intelligence and yet submission and I would imagine a lesser pairing would have this piece hang in threads.

Royal Court Website
The Times