03 January 2012

Haunted Child by Joe Penhall

Julie - Sophie Okonedo
Thomas - Jack Boulter
Douglas - Ben Daniels

Director - Jeremy Herrin
Designer - Bunnie Christie

Seen one month into it's premiere run at the Royal Court downstairs during the wonderful winter bargain period

It has been over six months since I made an entry here and almost as long since I have been to the theatre, such is the sorry state of my lifestyle these days. I could not let another Penhall come and go without making an effort to sneak into it.

I had a moment at the start when I feared this might be a little self-conscious but then the writing I know and love kicked in and it was heartbreaking and funny, moving along at a comfortable pace and resolving beautifully. It's not without flaws and slightly questionable logic from the Julie character but I liked the journey.

I enjoyed the set but admit to not quite understanding the uplighting through the floorboards. I thought the little boy was very good, considering he is a little boy.

Since it's a while since I've been to this building which I used to visit once a week, I sensed a change. I was in the circle and the front of house staff were having to marshall inconsiderate patron. One person was chastised for not turning their iPad off, even though the lights had not yet gone down but the Kindle user next-door-but-one was left unshamed. At one point, someone shouted repeatedly at another to turn their iPhone off. It may have made for a performance without noise or light pollution but the atmosphere in the circle took a while to relax.

The bar was open but not serving food so soon after the New Year.....whatever......I guess they couldn't get fresh supplies. The Front of House staff were exceptionally lovely, as ever although I scarcely recognised any of them. The bookstall was reassuringly stuffed and cordially attended.

This may not be the last post of the week.