The day had to come eventually… The day when I left a play at the interval as it was so bad.
That day was yesterday and was at a performance of Stella Feehily’s new play Bang Bang Bang. Yes for the first time in all my theatrical going over the years, I was relieved the interval had arrived and I could get out.
Usually I can force myself to see a play through to the end, I didn’t last night for the simple reason, after an hour with this cast, I just didn’t care. About the characters, about the so-called plot, about the issues even (that’ll make me sound very hard-hearted and I’m not!).
The script was so contrived and stilted, I felt patronised and the whole tone of the play condescending. The best way to describe it would be, that it reminded me of the sort of play you’d be forced to watch by a travelling drama group at school, to make you aware of “issues”. However even those were better than this.
I was more disappointed that Out of Joint were involved in it and Max Stafford-Clark directed it. It just felt so dull and predictable.
Yet I wanted to be moved, it’s dealing with hard issues, but the whole way it was structured lessened the impact. It all felt a bit wishy washy and naff to be honest. The main characters boyfriend has chosen a life away from humanitarian aid, “ohh let me think how can I make him a baddy?? I know I’ll make him work for Shell”, that is the level of thought that’s gone into this, I mean come on!
Also why did they feel the need to have excessively loud thumping music during each of the scene changes?
It’s sold out for most of its run, that’s the problem with the Royal Court, it’s not worth missing what’s on there, as usually it’s so good. Sometimes though it’s a dud. Which with this calibre director and company I would not expect but that’s the joy of the theatrical world, nothing is certain.