Sunday, November 06, 2016

I wouldn't usually go anywhere near a "deliciously irreverent West End comedy". Where's the misery in that? But as my seduction by the new Artistic Director of the Lyceum culminated in the rash purchase of a season ticket, I found myself in the busy Lyceum bar on Tuesday night, awaiting a play called Jumpy.

In fairness, the play has Cora Bisset at the (directing) helm. As I want to be her when I grow up (and learn to both play numerous musical instruments and compose), it was always going to be interesting. 

But the posters are covered with a resigned woman looking quizzically to camera with a glass of wine in her hand and a younger women staring at her phone. On reflection, the poster put me off. Where's the grit, grime and dirt of day to day (post-Trumpian) life in that?

The play started promisingly. A woman walked on stage, dumped her bags, poured a glass of wine and the lights went out. I love that statement. Completely unnecessary but a beautiful teasing opener. I wonder if this is in the script or if it was (as became my internal mantra) "Cora's work".

And then a familiar story unfolded of a fifty-something woman struggling to see the magic in her husband anymore, struggling to get along with a stroppy teenager struggling to get her own voice heard in the world, struggling to support her struggling to come to terms with her own (un-coupled) mortality best friend, struggling to resist the allure of the struggling to come to terms with his own self-absorption gentleman caller. It has all the hallmarks of West End comedy pot-boiling fodder. 

But it was a very funny script. It was brilliantly delivered with such heartfelt sincerity that I was glad my companion was snoring gently next to me so she didn't see the tears rolling down my face.

It looked gorgeous. The set was jumbly heaped high with the cluttered detritus of thirty years of two tangled but separate lives. 

And it was featured a glorious scene where - how to even describe it - the characters just danced. (The teenager cavorted in a wardrobe.) It was surreal and poignant and wonderful. ("Cora's work"?)

So hats off to Cora for taking this script which was funny and insightful and sharp and smart and making it into an excellent night of theatre. I salute you.


Blogger imw said...

The post show discussion revealed that the dancing was indeed Cora's work.

11:12 pm  

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