Our first visit to the theatre for a wee while, as there tends to be less of the stuff we like to see over the summer.
This play looked very interesting in the Almeida leaflet. Unusually, this was the only play we booked at the Almeida this season; they seem to be doing fewer new plays these days.
It was indeed an interesting play. Mostly set in London, where a do-gooder jolly hockey sticks woman is trying to organise an awareness raising Congo Festival with the consent and co-operation of the local Congolese diaspora community. Funny and sinister in equal measure. But the play doesn’t shy away from also showing us a glimpse into the horrors of life in the war-torn DRC.
Michael Longhurst directed this one, as he did Carmen Disruption last spring. We found that play interesting with some excellent scenes, but a little disjointed. I’d suggest that They Drink It In The Congo is similar in that regard. In particular, some of the festival-organising intrigue was a little drawn out and convoluted, but some of the scenes were superb. Interesting set and scene changes. All performances very good indeed.
- Clare Brennan in the Observer liked it a lot;
- …as did Michael Billington in the Guardian;
- Chris Bennion in the Telegraph admires the play greatly while admitting it is messy in parts;
- Paul Taylor in the Independent similarly impressed despite the mess;
- Fiona Mountford in The Standard is less sure about this uncategorisable beast.
In our household, I’m with the “four stars out of five” reviewers (most of those above), while Daisy would be more with Fiona Mountford and the three stars brigade.
We went home with plenty to think/talk about and nibbled at cold compilations rather than our more regular routine; to take away a hot meal.