Poison by Lot Vekemans, Orange Tree Theatre, 18 November 2017

When we booked it, we really liked the sound of this modern Dutch two-hander about loss and relationships.

Poison has been very well received and reviewed, both in its original award-winning Dutch form and in this translation at The Orange Tree.

Excellent cast – it seemed like only a few weeks ago that we’d seen Zumin Varma in the round in West London – directed by the ever-reliable Paul Miller.

Yet for some reason this piece simply did not press our buttons. Perhaps Janie and I had seen this subject matter covered with more power elsewhere. Perhaps the characters came across as rather stiff and cold to us, rather than the bottled-up emotion that (I suspect) was supposed to be portrayed.

It is a short piece and is (as more or less always at the Orange Tree) thoughtfully designed and produced in the round. So don’t necessarily take our word for it.

Here is a link to the Orange Tree resource on this play/production.

Here is a search term that will find you reviews and stuff.

Did we go to Don Fernando to chow down afterwards? You can bet your sweet fabada we did.

Truck Stop by Lot Vekemans, Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, 9 November 2007

I think this was the first piece we ever saw at the Hampstead Theatre Downstairs. It was very good indeed.

We went on a Friday evening, unusually early – the piece started at 19:00. It was a short piece, so I think the early start was because they were performing it twice per evening.

I think this production had done the rounds; The Hush House in Suffolk (says the programme) and I think also Edinburgh and the Unicorn Theatre at least. The play itself, by Dutch playwright Lot Vekemans, had been around for a few years by 2007. A chunk of Rina Vergano’s translation is in the public domain as a teaser – here.

Hampstead Downstairs didn’t generate reviews, but Eastern Angles has pulled lots of reviews for this piece – here. They are good.

Janie and I agreed that downstairs at the Hampstead seemed like a jolly good idea to us. Time and some wonderful productions has proved that thought correct.