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A Rude Awakening

Published Monday 7 February 2011 at 10:25 by Scott Matthewman

An allegorical fantasy set in a far future where homosexuality has become the norm and straight people are barely tolerated as genetic freaks, what A Rude Awakening loses in subtlety it gains in some good performances and one or two killer one-liners.

James Le Feuvre (Tran Lor), Lucy Newman-Williams (Rustina Loveday) and Sean Browne (as Bobby Honeywell) in A Rude Awakening at The New End Theatre

James Le Feuvre (Tran Lor), Lucy Newman-Williams (Rustina Loveday) and Sean Browne (as Bobby Honeywell) in A Rude Awakening at The New End Theatre Photo: Francis Loney

Jonathan Woodward leads an able cast as the homophobic politician who, upon being revived in the far future, finds himself ostracised because of his heterosexuality. It is through his conviction that the early scenes, set in the present day, escape being regarded as a crudely drawn depiction of US politics in which even a gubernatorial candidate describes their part of America as “the South”.

The production is somewhat thrown off-kilter by video inserts which are by turns either preposterously surreal or hilariously comic. Sarah Wolff’s performance in the news parodies are especially noteworthy, but they sit oddly with the otherwise dramatic tone of the live performances.

Ultimately, though, Barry Peters’ first play is hamstrung by a lack of clarity of the satirical message he is attempting to convey. Rather than questioning modern-day prejudices, or even suggesting that a majority’s dominance over a minority is in itself the catalyst for bigotry, the impression the play leaves behind is that, whatever the century, you just can’t trust a politician.

Production information

New End, London, February 1-March 6

Author:
Barry Peters
Director:
Olivia Rowe
Producer:
New End Theatre
Cast includes:
Jonathan Woodward, Sean Browne, Genevieve Adam, James Le Feuvre, Lucy Newman-Williams, Sarah Wolff
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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