Plays talk to each other, I know they do. One evening I saw James Graham’s The Angry Brigade, and the next I saw Clara Brennan’s Spine at the Soho theatre. Spine is, in essence, the angry brigade, if angry is furiously tender and livid and paralysed by answers and galvanised by questions and innocent, oh so innocent you can clearly see till the end of the world.
Spine is a little like Harold and Maude but without the sex. Was there any sex in Harold and Maude? Probably not. OK I might be wrong about Harold and Maude but I am not wrong about this: Spine is brilliant. It punches through. It’s about saying you want a revolution and actually meaning it. It’s like coming up to a closed door, knocking and screaming and kicking it down, and when it opens, it takes your breath away. It’s about people crawling out of books. It’s about the NHS (trust me, it is). It’s about a book thief at the house at the end of the road. It’s about saying “I own my vagina” more loudly and clearly than Vagina Monologues ever did. It’s about having the courage to be the mischievous warrior angel others see in you. It’s about having courage, full stop. Continue reading