WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE
by Steven Hevey.
Finborough Theatre above The Finborough Arms 118 Finborough Road SW10 9ED To 18 August 2015.
Sun-Mon 7.30pm Tue 2pm.
Runs 1hr 40min No interval.
TICKETS: 0844 847 1652.
www.finbooroughtheatre.co.uk (no booking fee by ’phone or online).
Review: Timothy Ramsden 16 August.
Fun turns to fury in London property market comedy/drama.
This is an impressive début from playwright Steven Hevey, its early scenes showing sharp comic dialogue that gets things done
Later, laughter dies as Hevey investigates the pressures and interests around property redevelopment, long-term residents and newcomers seeking somewhere still affordable, with the threat and scope for violence this brings.
Hevey catches the mood of the political moment, with impoverished councils selling homes to private developers, lifelong inhabitants chucked-out of London and a society where some possess and others are dispossessed, while the council cuts the jobs of those who used to sort matters better.
Some things are clear – especially those involving community association members Keith and Roy, right and left wingers respectively, but both turfed-out of their homes while Association chair Mary sits confidently, nudging opinion the way the council wants.
It’s harder to follow young Asma and Ben, partly because they start laying so many false scents about themselves for the discomfiture of the smiling, suited Estate Agent selling them an overpriced little property. Then there are the foxes, which play their part in the back-story and hang around providing a sese of urban ferocity, but are awkwardly integrated, with Asma frequently wearing a fox costume.
Assuming Asma’s father is wealthy (partner Ben has denied that earlier) the young house-hunters have an advantage most young people don’t; when he’s made redundant, with Ben on a paltry salary, she says she’s forever job-hunting but doesn’t seem concerned for the financial future.
Hevey writes dialogue bristling with argument and wit, which he uses to juxtapose ideas and give life to characters. There are plenty of ideas in We Know Where You Live, but in future plays Hevey might give more thought to what he’s leading audiences to believe at any point in the action and ensure that – by however devious a set of paths – he doesn’t leave spectators too puzzled about things to find the way forward.
Though I’d gladly have deserted the new arrivals and settled down for a sitcom with the strongly characterised, splendidly acted community association members.
Asma: Ritu Aeya.
Estate Agent: Ross Hatt.
Ben: Matt Whitchurch.
Mary: Paddy Navin.
Keith: Daniel York.
Roy/Policeman: Gary Beadle.
Director: John Young.
Designer/Costume: Libby Todd.
Lighting: Jamie Platt.
Sound: David Gregory.