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.
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.