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The Model Apartment

“Raw and harrowing”

Ustinov Studio artistic director Laurence Boswell, already renowned for importing challenging works from elsewhere in the world, has opened a season of UK premieres from the Americas, with a raw and harrowing play by Pulitzer Prize-winning US author Donald Margulies.

First performed in Los Angeles 30 years ago, The Model Apartment focuses on a world-weary Brooklyn couple Max and Lola, survivors of the Holocaust, who suddenly collide with the spectre of their past at their new Florida retirement home.

Within hours of arriving, family foundations begin to crumble with the appearance of their insecure, almost maniacal daughter Debby, tormented by everything about the Holocaust that her parents have related over the years.

Margulies’ theme is the way in which children of survivors can be shaped by their parents’ experiences, one not without resonance in today’s world of terror and genocide.

Boswell directs the play’s difficult – at times almost absurdist – combination of riveting dialogue, brutal confrontations and dream sequences with great care, with Ben Ormerod’s high velocity lighting plot adding to the staccato nature of the narrative inside designer Tim Shortall’s bland condo setting.

Bath favourites Diana Quick and Ian Gelder contrast Lola’s fierce maternal protectiveness with Max’s determination to remember his Holocaust experiences only in his dreams. They bring real depth to two irretrievably damaged people, whose family scars have been inherited at great cost by their obsessive daughter Debby (well played by Emily Bruni) and her confused homeless boyfriend Neil (Enyi Okoronkwo).

Related to this Review


Production Details
Production nameThe Model Apartment
VenueUstinov Studio
StartsNovember 22, 2018
EndsDecember 22, 2018
Running time1hr 25mins
AuthorDonald Margulies
DirectorLaurence Boswell
Set designerTim Shortall
Lighting designerBen Ormerod
Sound designerJon Nicholls
CastDiana Quick, Emily Bruni, Enyi Okoronkwo, Ian Gelder
Production managerTommy Rose
ProducerTheatre Royal Bath
VerdictSearingly uncomfortable examination of the legacy of the Holocaust
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Jeremy Brien

Jeremy Brien

Jeremy Brien

Jeremy Brien

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