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10.07.2009- Brief Reviews

Back in April I went to see War Horse and England People Very Nice, but in the midst of exam revision and a busy summer term neglected to write reviews at the time. Nearly three months have passed since I saw these performances and needless to say my terrible memory isn't really up to writing an in-depth review of either, so for now I'll just rate each along with a brief comment.

England People Very Nice, The National Theatre, 16.04.2009, 2pm.
**** (4 stars).

Although dogged by controversy (on stage protests anyone?) regarding the so called 'racist' content of Richard Bean's script, England People Very Nice is an innovative and hilarious look at the waves of immigration to hit the East End of London (specifically Bethnal Green). Bean's script is witty, fast moving and seeks not to demonise immigrants but rather the reaction of the English to them; the French Huguenots, so maligned by the 'native' English when they first arrived in London go on to profess that the influx of Irish immigrants a generation later will destroy their homes and livelihoods. To call the play 'racist' is a simplistic dismissal of a piece which addresses not only issues of cultural identity but also national pride and patriotism, whilst remaining topical and engaging throughout.

War Horse, The New London Theatre, 18.04.2009, 2.30pm.
***** (5 stars).

The biggest recommendation I can offer this performance is simply that I would go and see it again, multiple times. Heartrending and visually enchanting, this has to be the best piece of theatre I have seen. Words simply cannot do it justice.


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