Review: Secret Theatre 4, Glitterland, Lyric Theatre

The Lyric Theatre Hammersmith is undergoing renovation and much of it is closed. However, they’ve recruited a company of writers, actors and directors to use what space can be made available throughout the year, not announcing anything until the last minute, hence “Secret Theatre.” The first play was Woyzeck which I saw two versions of last year in The Drowned Man and Berg’s Wozzeck, so I didn’t fancy another. Shows 2 and 3 slipped by but I have had a chance to see this one. It is an update on John Webster’s revenge tragedy The White Devil. Hayley Squires has changed Church and State into Star and State, setting it in the alternative world of Glitterland which works well. The plot is simplified slightly and played with almost no scenery in the Lyric Studio. It uses an interesting mix of the original language and modern gangsta talk which shows interesting syntactic and rhythmic similarities between the two. Inevitably, the small company available means that some of the casting is odd but Leo Bill as the central schemer Nemo (Flamineo) is extremely good and I recommend it to anyone interested in theatre.

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