Love a Good Play
Published in

Love a Good Play

Manor

November 18, 2021. Lyttleton Theatre, NT

Shaun Evans, Nancy Carroll

Back in the theatre with lots of people. It’s been a while. And it’s been an age since I’ve been in a buzzing NT. I do love this building and its vibe.

This is the first time in the Lytletton since pre pandemic. The National’s most traditional stage has a new play by Moira Buffini.

On a stormy night, she gathers a microcosm of modern Britain at a Manor House from the Restoration era to shelter and rub up against each other. This works to a point and creates the dramatic tension needed but it also feels forced at times.

Stand out performances from Nancy Carroll who really is as luminous on stage as the script says, even dressed in dungarees and Michelle Austin — last seen in Cyrano and with a powerful voice that draws you to her.

The first half whips along with an unexpected twist just before half time but the second half fails to fully deliver on the promise of the first and seems to get a bit muddied.

I can see the symbolism of the rising tides cleansing the earth. And the irony of ridiculous humans squabbling and bickering in the face of adversity, instead of working together to find a solution (hello COP26). But it felt a bit rushed and a bit confused at the end. That ending needs a rework.

I left a little underwhelmed cos of the ending.

Lovely to be in a real audience again though.

3/5

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Plays, platforms, ballet, music and all the fabulous cultural events I get to experience in London. And what I think of them.

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Janet Hitchen

Janet Hitchen

Laugh, practise yoga, drink tea, eat cake, read lots, digital book clubber, theatre geek, Young Patron of the NT, Mum to Milly, my BT.

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