Martin Crimp talks about the audience walking out In The Republic of Happiness

Back in December, I made no secret how much I disliked Martin Crimp’s In The Republic of Happiness. It was unrelentlessly boring, further more its central theme – the myopic indulgence of the middle classes – is at least five years behind the times. Until 2008, the middle classes thought the world was their oyster, happiness, success, security their entitlement. After 2008, the main story is fear. Entitlement is still wedged in the consciousness of the middle classes, yet it doesn’t match reality. Casual cruelty, confusion, shame drive the narrative.

A few days ago, Martin Crimp was interviewed at Front Row by Mark Lawson, a propos of his opera Written on Skin playing at the Royal Opera House. The conversation turned to In The Republic of Happiness, and here is what Martin Crimp said about members of the audience walking out in the middle of the performance. Continue reading

Review: In the Republic of Happiness, by Martin Crimp, at the Royal Court Theatre

republicofhappinessSeveral unexpected questions occurred to me during the performance of In The Republic of Happiness: At what level of collective boredom am I allowed to get my phone out and start surfing? How close to the edge of a row do you have to be to leave in the middle of a performance? Do the actors feel as trapped as I do?

Martin Crimp’s In The Republic of Happiness is an unusual play. Ian used the word “daring”. Is that enough? A rant of low level misanthropy and verbal violence, some of it set to songs, it could have been interesting if it wasn’t so stubbornly unprocessed – and ultimately unprocessable. Individual sentences possess elegance and beauty. Collectively, they make less sense – and have less poise – than a man ranting on a street corner. Continue reading