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Miracle

Published Monday 18 January 2010 at 14:25 by Mark Shenton

A decrepit theatre company limps into town, on its last legs, to stage a feeble play that no one wants to see in Reza de Wet’s Miracle. Is life imitating art, though, when it comes to the production of it that is being staged in the tiny, unraked basement space of Leicester Square Theatre, a room that instantly goes to the top of the list of London’s least comfortable and most inhospitable fringe spaces?

“Just as I thought - a pigsty,” exclaims Susannah York’s actress Salome as she enters, and she’s not far wrong. She’s unaccountably lost the trunk containing all her costumes en route, but she comes with plenty of baggage. So does the play, which sees her trying to lead a company in a performance of Everyman, in which one of the other actors suddenly dies (she has a lucky escape), and another is visited by the vengeful wife he dumped in favour of the dead actress.

This inflated piece of pretentious claptrap about the meaning and making of theatre comes adorned, in Linnie Reedman’s frequently bizarre production, with three pre-show “circus characters”, who exchange meaningful glances and sing doleful dirges before the show and during the interval.

The best you can say for it is that it sustains the bleak atmosphere with a sense of unassailable commitment. But it’s amazing that the likes of York and Tim Woodward, as the desperate manager of the troupe, have been persuaded to adorn it. Only Rowan Schlosberg, furiously fending off his former wife as Abel, brings a semblance of truth and conviction to any of it.

Production information

Leicester Square Theatre, London, January 5-24

Author:
Reza de Wet
Director:
Linnie Reedman
Producer:
Ruby in the Dust
Cast includes:
Susannah York, Tim Woodward, Lynne Miller, Rowan Schlosberg
Running time:
2hrs

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15
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