History in the making?
With that in mind, I've been ushered in the direction of the Royal Court Theatre, whose tradition of new writing is in its 50th year. This is where Osborne's legendary Look Back in Anger was first staged (1956). The current celebration is stretching over the next few months as well, with rehearsed readings of contemporary memorables and new productions staged. Today, I found myself the happy recipient of a 10p standing ticket, which was upgraded to circle seating. Take advantage of those matinees, I tell you! Most London theatres do two shows on Saturday.
Stella Feehily's O Go My Man turned out to be a pleasant, if fragmented, peek into the state of new writing. Directed by Max Stafford-Clark, I was expecting big things. I hear his name often, tossed about by schoolmates as if he were Christ himself. That happens to me quite a bit here, as I find my footing in an entirely different theatrical environment. On the upside, I have very few preconceptions of my own, and shows that would otherwise be hyped have no special importance to me--a foreigner with the lovely chance to make her own judgments. There were bits of the script that stood out, rhythmically and dramatically fluent, while others fell into a more common tone. And while the storyline grew convoluted and unsure, I was fighting for a way in; whose story was this? I can't help but think that O Go My Man is a beautiful play waiting to be liberated from its trappings by the swift and effective hand of a dramaturg or editor.
O Go My Man continues through February 11, in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square.