Sunday, 23 November 2008

Underneath the arches

My theatre-going is usually restricted to the National Theatre when they have £10 tickets for classics like Checkov, Lorca or Brecht; except, that is, when a friend of mine is in a play (that's just one friend who's in plays, not many...). That was why I was at the Southwark Playhouse last night, watching Presumption, a play about two people coming to terms with the fact that after seven years, their feelings are best described as they "don't not love" each other.

Its an engaging play, a simple concept which is thoroughly and sometimes wittily explored by actors who give excellent performances. Its odd watching someone you know well play a character. You notice which expressions, affectations and gestures have been imported from the actor's own character, and which haven't, in a way that the rest of the audience clearly won't. Yet I have to say that for most of the time I was able to suspend my disbelief effectively and was entertained all the way through.

Southwark Playhouse, incidentally is also quite engaging itself. Situated underneath the railway arches near London Bridge, it has a trendy little bar complete which has unmatched second-hand chairs, tea lights and a stage for acoustic music, yet manages to avoid pretentiousness. Presumption runs for another two weeks and tickets are pretty cheap, so consider this my November theatre recommendation!

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