Review: Good People, Noël Coward Theatre

Despite rave reviews in the press, I didn’t want to see this play at first. I changed my mind when I realised why I was put off. It was those posters with Imelda Staunton on them triggering memories of Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter! In both the books and the films. I thought her banal, bureaucratic evil was much more frightening than Voldemort’s, if only for being more realistic. She is, of course, a great actress, able to play both Umbridge and Maggie in this, a woman struggling at the bottom of society in South Boston, trying to be a decent person and trusting those around her to be “good people” too. As with a couple of other plays I’ve seen this year, act one helps us to get to know the characters, leading to policical/ class conflict in the second act. Despite this, Invincible, Some Desert Cities and Good People could hardly be more different. The acting and direction are perfect and the set design is brilliant. I got a really good deal through Time Out. It may be still available; if so, grab it.

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