We attended the last night of this quite remarkable piece at the Royal Court. It was also the last night downstairs for Linda by Penelope Skinner , so the place was swarming with luvvies, presumably supporting their friends and/or sticking around for an end of run party.
We spotted Sam West (who I knew reasonably well at school) and Laura Wade in the bar. We also saw Tamsin Greig and Richard Leaf, plus Benedict Wong and his date. These latter four ended up in our upstairs show sitting close by.
Janie asked, “is that Ai Wei Wei?” just after Benedict Wong squeezed past us, to which I said “yes,” thinking she meant “is that the bloke who played Ai Wei Wei?” rather than mistaking him for the Chinese artist himself. “Good job I didn’t congratulate him on his exhibition at the Royal Academy,” said Janie later when the confusion came to light, “he’d have taken me for a right divvy”.
As always now with the Royal Court (and many other theatres), the archive contains pretty much everything you want to know about the production including the reviews, which were universally and deservedly very good indeed.
This is not an evening of light entertainment, but it is a wonderful piece of original theatre, with superb acting, stage design, movement and all. It deserves a transfer and sighting by a much larger and wider audience, but the bleak North Korean subject matter will, sadly, probably prevent that from happening.