CommonWealth, Almeida Theatre
Pros: Timely look at the world of the privileged few.
Cons: Not really sharing anything new.
Our Verdict: An enthusiastic bunch of young and brave performers.
|Courtesy of Almeida Theatre|
I was very impressed by this cleverly devised performance that explores social inequality and the world of private education. The Young Friends of the Almeida company, working alongside a professional team, are clearly the best placed to present a play that deals with the experience of today’s young people.
There are some very talented actors strutting their stuff on stage and giving life to some highly intelligent dialogue. But there’s the rub: some of the dialogue is a bit too intelligent, perhaps a bit too grown up. It can at times sound quite clunky. Would these kids, and that is what they are after all, really speak like this?
All the performers are quite good, with some standing out more than others; however, this is due to the nature of the roles allocated. The set design was superb, as is to be expected from a production staged at the Almeida. The use of three big block-like columns clad with Astroturf-like material as set pieces to differentiate scene changes was very clever and made for distinct scene changes. The direction of the show was smooth and kicked along at a constant pace. Ultimately, however, I got the feeling that the general gist of the show was ‘posh bashing’. Did anyone who put the show together have any firsthand experience of the world they produced on stage? I’m not so sure. There was plenty to admire on stage, but much of it was a bit hard to relate to.