That Face, Polly Stenham, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 19 May 2007

This turned out to be one of the hottest tickets in town for a while.  We didn’t realise it when we booked it.  We see a lot of productions upstairs and often enjoy plays there by young/as yet unknown playwrights.

Indeed, we normally see them early in a run, but nephew Paul had arranged to stay and said he’d like to go to the theatre with us, so we chose this play as “youthfully suitable” and so booked for a few weeks into the run.  Thus, by the time Paul came down to stay, he knew we’d got him a surprisingly hot ticket.

That Face – for Royal Court stub including several reviews click here – really is a super play and this was an excellent production.

Polly Stenham is a very talented young writer, although we now have the hindsight to wish that she had moved on from this “chamber play about dysfunctional families and damaged youngsters” genre – her subsequent plays so far (several years on) have all been echoes of similar. Still, this one subsequently transferred to the West End making Polly, at 21 by then, the youngest West End debutant since…maybe ever.  Michael Billington gushed – click here.

The whole cast was brilliant, but Lindsay Duncan stole the show, as you might expect.

Nephew Paul was very taken by the whole thing.  We had to explain that we don’t always pick quite such winners, especially when we go for the smaller stages and unknown writers.


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