RIGHT NOW, London, To 16 April

Right Now
by Catherine-Anne Toupin
translated by Chris Campbell

Bush Theatre To April 16
Uxbridge Road,
London W12 8LJ

Mon-Sat 7.30pm; mats Wed, Sat 2.30pm

Runs: 1hr 20mins without interval

TICKETS: 020 8743 5050
On-line: www.bushtheatre.co.uk

Concessions (registered unemployed and disabled) for Senior Citizens, students/under 26s, 10% off for Bush Local members and Groups.
See website.

Review: by Carole Woddis of performance seen Mar 29, 2016:

Stylish and open-ended.
There’s an interesting Gallic breeze blowing across British theatreland at present.
It may of course all be coincidental but if Catherine-Anne Toupin’s oleaginous husband Gilles and his equally repugnant wife, Juliette, had anything to do with it, nothing comes by chance. All is meant to be.

French-Canadian Toupin brings something very special to the French seam that includes a resurrected Jean Anouilh at the Donmar and Florian Zeller currently at Meniers Chocolate Factory with The Truth.

Yet all of them, despite years and backgrounds apart, seem to be sharing a common link if only in their exploration of identity and the blurring of lines between illusion and reality.

Coincidental, as I say, but Toupin produces perhaps the more extreme and unsettling example with Right Now in Chris Campbell’s easy-on-the-ear translation.

Psychological thriller/wicked social satire, if Zeller is the master at overturning audience expectations, Toupin’s highly woman-centred piece doubles and trebles it. Is the baby we hear crying throughout a figment of Alice’s imagination or an expression of a post-partum depression?

But if so, what is the bewildered looking bundle brought on stage at the end if not a real live baby? And why is the neighbour’s weird son, François now acting like Alice’s husband whilst Ben, the husband we saw initially, has taken his place as the couple next door’s beloved supposedly dead son?

There are any number of different readings you could take away from Michael Boyd’s prickly, stylish production with its tender, erotic, Pinteresque, Albee-esque under tones which elicit chuckles but towards the end outright puzzlement.

On some level it’s an acting out of deep desires, emotions and moments we’d like to return to but never can, as if Toupin is giving voice to Freud’s maxim of being driven by our sub-conscious over which we have little control.

All one can say for sure ultimately is that Boyd (a champion of fellow French Canadian Michel Tremblay) gives it a cracking workout.

Maureen Beattie is quite terrifying as the mother taking the elderly Ben to her breast whilst Lindsey Campbell as the disturbed Alice, Sean Biggerstaff (Ben) and Dyfan Dwyfor as the self-harming, neglected neighbour’s son find pitch perfect nuances in this ferment of confusion.

Right Now
by Catherine-Anne Toupin
translated by Chris Campbell

Alice: Lindsey Campbell
Ben: Sean Biggerstaff
Juliette: Maureen Beattie
François: Dyfan Dwyfor
Gilles: Guy Williams

Director: Michael Boyd
Designer: Madeleine Girling
Lighting Designer: Oliver Fenwick
Composer/Sound Designer: David Paul Jones
Casting Director: Ginny Schiller CDG
Casting Assistant: Liz Bichard/Amy Beadel
Assistant Director: Chloe Masterton

A Traverse Theatre Company, Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov Studio and Bush Theatre co-production.

First presented in the UK as a script-in-hand reading at the Traverse Theatre in Nov 2014 as part of New Writing from Quebec, a cultural exchange between the Traverse Theatre and Théâtre La Licorne, home of La Manufacture Theatre Company in Montréal. It was then presented in a week of previews at the Traverse in May 2015.

First perf at the Bush Theatre, March 23, 2016.

See www.bushtheatre.co.uk

2016-03-31 12:16:16

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