Review: Pomona, by Alistair McDowall at the Orange Tree Theatre

Sam Swann and Charlie and Sean Rigby as Moe. Photo Manuel Harlan

Sam Swann and Charlie and Sean Rigby as Moe. Photo Manuel Harlan

Think of your life as a conveyor belt. The metaphor works perfectly in all ways, not least the physical: you only do a circle of a journey most days, and it’s difficult to get off when you want to.

This is how I think of Alistair McDowall’s Pomona: it’s the play that pushes you out of the conveyor belt. If that’s true for all good theatre, it’s more true for Pomona. Or rather Pomona throws you out in unfamiliar places: not quite scary or threatening, but places where you see things at the corner of your eye, and your heart starts racing before you have time to know why. If it’s a game, it’s thrilling, if it’s not a game, we are in serious trouble. With Pomona it’s both, all the time. Continue reading

Forget the Evening Standard. It’s the credible theatre awards I could do without

Last night we had the Evening Standard theatre awards. I would have forgotten if it wasn’t for people on twitter, and even then I was happy to ignore them. The case against them is easy, other people have said it best, and it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

So why am I blogging about them? To my defense, I have no intention of talking about these specific awards. But every year we moan / rejoice / obsess at the mere mention of nominations and ceremonies. (Is there a verb that combines all three? It would save so much time when talking about fandoms). The question is always the same: why aren’t awards better at identifying the best?

What if they were? What if someone had the superpower to know what’s best and told us? Continue reading