A new play by Mike Bartlett
Hampstead Theatre To July 16
London NW3 3EU
Box Office: 020 7722 9301
Monday – Saturday 10am – 7pm
Runs: 1hr 40 mins without interval.
Review: by Carole Woddis of performance seen June 21, 2016:
A shaggy dog, or is it? Or what’s a shaggy dog? What’s a story? Wild
Wild by name and wild in execution. The prolific Mike Bartlett (credits and awards piling up, most recently for the clever, futuristic King Charles III, currently in film production and on tv, Doctor Foster), has done it again.
Taking the Edward Snowden affair (and somewhere in there, implications which might relate to Julian Assange though since the Other Man never, he/it appears it’s like Waiting for Godot), Bartlett spins a great big, surreal shaggy dog story that looks variously at personal identity and the not knowingness – or not being certain of – anything.
It also ends in a coup de théâtre the like of which I’ve never witnessed on stage before, which is guaranteed to disorientate audience and performer alike.
Not wishing to give the game away (someone undoubtedly will), that’s all I’m saying.
The last fifteen minutes of James Macdonald’s acute, pin-point sharp production are extraordinary and whilst what goes before has its longueurs, like Pinter, there’s so much else to enjoy, such naughtiness and truths about the lives we all lead, framed by the impact of modern technologies, you have to forgive his indulgences.
Snowden’s gesture, Bartlett has his fictional Snowden character, Andrew say, was all in the name of freedom. But how little freedom we actually have where everything about us is known and monitored.
Through Andrew – a beautifully restrained Jack Farthing – Bartlett explores the consequences on an individual who overnight becomes world famous at the push of a button.
Holed up in a Moscow hotel bedroom, Andrew is visited by two mysterious people, the first, Miss `George’ Prism – a brilliantly quirky Caoilfhionn Dunne who milks every line for its eccentric tendency – and the second, smirkily smooth and slightly threatening John Mackay’s similarly named `George’.
In a series of duologues, they proceed to twist and mentally confuse Andrew into committing himself to their protection. Precisely who `they’ are is never spelt out but left hanging in this dramatic metaphor and dazzling philosophical tour de force, the bravura of which could only have been created by a master craftsman making full use, in particular, of the Hampstead Theatre’s technical resources. You have to see it to believe it!
A new play by Mike Bartlett
Andrew: Jack Farthing
Woman: Caoilfhionn Dunne
Man: John Mackay
Director: James Macdonald
Designer: Miriam Buether
Lighting Designer: Peter Mumford
Sound Designer: Christopher Shutt
Company Voice and Dialect: Penny Dyer
Consulting Illusionist: Ben Hart
Video Designer: Matt Coombes
Movement Consultant: Leon Baugh
Casting Director: Amy Ball
Design Associate: Aaron Marsden
Assistant Director: Chelsea Walker
World premiere of Wild, Hampstead Theatre, London, June 10, 2016