Royal Court Theatre,
Jerwood Theatre Downstairs,
London SW1W 8AS
Runs: 80 mins without interval
TICKETS 020 7565 -5000
In person: Mon–Sat, 10am-start of perf or 6pm if no show
Various concessions incl Mondays £10 and £6 for under 26s;
Limited free tickets for under 25s through Arts Council scheme
The box office has an accessible counter (75cm high) for wheelchair users.
Sign Interpreted Performances: email firstname.lastname@example.org;
Audio-Described Performances: tel: 020 7565 5100;
Captioned Performances: email email@example.com
Review: by Carole Woddis of performance seen July 2, 2013
Something rather wonderful.Something rather wonderful is happening at the Royal Court. A few weeks in from Vicky Featherstone’s taking over the helm from Dominic Cooke and the place has undergone a complete atmospheric overhaul. Feeling more like a mini-Edinburgh Fringe Festival venue, the place is a-buzz as well it might be with various events going on simultaneously.
In an unprecedented move, Featherstone has handed the theatre over to writers for six weeks. The result is a great big wallop of fresh air.
Going under the umbrella title of Open Court, a group of 140 writers has produced a plethora of fresh ideas and initiatives. To name but a few: Surprise Theatre (every Monday and Tuesday on a makeshift theatre in the theatre’s bar), Found Plays (overheard on a bus or underground), a Soap Opera streamed every night from Peckham’s Bussey Building (devised from stories from local residents), a Kids Court and not least the best possible recommendation for reintroducing the Weekly Rep (now when was that last seen anywhere within ten square miles of central London?!) with one play a week, six writers and one ensemble of actors.
Mint by Clare Lizzimore is the fourth in the series and by any standards, it’s a humdinger. Maybe it will get a longer life. It certainly deserves to.
Lizzimore, a director as well as a writer, has fashioned 80 minutes of pure, minimalist, intriguing bliss, a portrayal of family, conditioning and the consequences thereof – nurture as criminal. For the person we see initially in prison, visited by family members with varying degrees of empathy, is certainly young Alan but, Lizzimore, suggests should be his father, his domination and his way of being.
There have been many sympathetic plays about cons over the years but few have produced more crushing moments than the brilliant Alan Williams as the father, Simon reducing Sam Troughton’s Alan at a family celebration to a gibbering wreck over a spilt glass of wine. It is Williams’ Simon too who all conqueringly at the end, sits defiantly resuming eating his meal, the only person able to do so.
If this is what weekly rep can produce, more please! Terrific.
Charlotte: Debbie Chazen
Stephanie: Laura Elphinstone
Amber: Tess Fontaine
Nicola: Angela Terence
Alan: Sam Troughton
Simon: Alan Williams
Director: Caroline Steinbeis
Designer: Chloe Lamford
Lighting Designer: Lizzie Powell
Music and Sound Designer: Giles Thomas
Assistant Director: Anthony Lau
Casting Director: Amy Ball
Mint was performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs Upstairs from July 2-6 and is presented as part of Weekly Rep and the Royal Court’s Jerwood New Playwrights programme, funded by the Jerwood Charitable Foundation.
Mint is pub by Nick Hern Books as a free, digital download until July 20 from the following website: www.nickhernbooks.co.uk/Book/1527/Mint.html
Open Court is supported by Bloomberg