We enjoyed but were a bit disappointed by this one.
We had absolutely loved That Face, Polly Stenham’s first play, so had eagerly awaited this one for two years.
Tusk Tusk was another play about a dysfunctional family with an addled mother (absentee mother this time) and several wild kids as the result.
It felt a bit like more of the same to us, which was a shame because we (perhaps unreasonably) expected more from Polly Stenham on the back of her stunningly good first play.
Still, some excellent performances from the youngsters (this must have been the first time we saw the excellent Bel Powley, for example) and the usual Royal Court quality of production, even when the play is being done upstairs.
We saw the Saturday preview before press night.
- Michael Coveney was very impressed with it in The Independent and thought that Stenham had avoided “second play syndrome” with this piece;
- Michael Billington went for four stars but hoped for something beyond the family circle from Polly next time;
- Sarah Hemming in the FT preferred this one to That Face, but hoped for new territory with the third;
- Charles Spencer in The Telegraph was also very pleased with Tusk Tusk, although he also hoped that Stenham would change tack for her third play (she didn’t really – as a future Ogblog piece will tell);
- Jessica Fellowes wrote one of those Guardian “what to say about” pieces about it – click here.