Young Marx

Young Marx
Director: Nicholas Hytner
Writer: Richard Bean, Clive Coleman
Cast: Rory Kinnear, Oliver Chris, Nancy Carroll, Laura Elphinstone, Eben Figueiredo, Nicholas Burns, Tony Jayawardena, Miltos Yerolemou, Duncan Wisbey
Seen on: 7.12.2017

Plot:
Karl Marx (Rory Kinnear) lives with his wife Jenny (Nancy Carroll) and children in poverty in Soho. Karl seems at odds with everyone around him, from creditors to police to his fellow critical thinkers. He doesn’t seem to mind much because, really, Karl is mostly interested in hanging out with his friend Friedrich Engels (Oliver Chris), who helps keeping the creditors at bay, and getting drunk whenever he gets half a chance.

I assume that Young Marx intended to get away from the revered by stuffy image Marx has acquired in the past 150 years, but it only partly succeeds in pushing Marx of his pedestal. And it only partly succeeds as a play.

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Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre
Director: Sally Cookson
Devised by: the cast and the director
Based on: Charlotte Brontë’s novel
Cast: Madeleine Worrall, Felix Haye, Craig Edwards, Melanie Marshall, Laura Elphinstone
Seen on: 8.12.2015

Plot:
Jane Eyre (Madeleine Worrall) is an orphan, growing up with her aunt Mrs Reed, who treats her rather badly. When Jane shows signs of rebellion against this treatment when she’s ten, she is sent to boarding school. 8 years later she leaves there to take up a position as a governess at Thornfield Hall, which belongs to Mr. Rochester (Felix Haye). Jane and Rochester quickly connect with each other – but there is a secret in Thornfield Hall.

Jane Eyre is an incredibly earnest production. I felt reminded of more than one youth theatre productions I saw that tries very hard and very seriously to teach you something about life by knocking you over the head with symbolism. A lack of cynism can be extremely nice but when handled with the subtlety of a battle axe, it becomes tiring and annoying. It worked so little for me, it was practically painful.

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