R And D by Simon Vinnicombe, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, 1 October 2016

I really liked this short play downstairs at the Hampstead. Janie found the subject matter rather too weird and felt she couldn’t relate to it.

The central characters are two brothers; one a writer, bereaved just under a year before the start of the play, the other a geeky scientist whose company is secretly developing a world-beating sentient, anthropomorphic robot, in the form of a rather attractive and spirited young woman. Take it from there.

I liked the drama of it and also the ethical dilemmas that got an airing through the story. It’s a short play, perhaps 75 minutes. It was very well acted.

There is an excellent stub with all the information you might want about the play and production – here.

No formal reviews at Hampstead Downstairs, but the audience shout outs on the above stub are very positive.

Janie was that set against it but she sees the idea of sentient anthropomorphic robots as being way too futuristic. Personally, I think we’re getting mighty close to such technology – perhaps within 10 years; certainly our lifetimes, unless our lives are cut short.

Anyway, Janie was mollified by some excellent Chinese food from Four Seasons afterwards, so all was not lost for her as an evening, not by any stretch.

Ingredient X by Nick Grosso, Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, 12 June 2010

I’d had the bath surgeon re-enamelling my bath at the flat the previous day – without drama and very successfully – perhaps he uses ingredient X?

Anyway, this Royal Court play/production had a superb cast. including Lesley Sharpe and Indira Varma.

Very pacey play – almost to the point of being all over the place. Some very funny lines. Despite its flaws, I think we rather enjoyed it, although I seem to recall enjoying the first half more than the second half of the play. The bants started to grate after a while.

Here is the Royal Court Information on the play.

It is about addictions of all kinds, from drink & drugs to television.

Here’s a link to the reviews and stuff – it wasn’t very well received, this one.

Creditors by August Strindberg in a new version by David Greig, Donmar Warehouse, 27 September 2008

Janie and I are both very partial to a bit of Strindberg.

Creditors is a top drawer Strindberg play and this was a top draw production of same at the Donmar.

I had seen a smaller scale production of this before – at The Gate back in the 1980s – I’ll review that too in the fullness of time. But this version of Creditors, in David Greig’s edgy hands, was even more gripping than I remembered the play.

Superb cast too – all three of them excellent.

Even the West End Whingers were on the case for this one and seemed broadly satisfied – click here.

An especially good night at the theatre.