by Johan Persson.jpg


National Theatre

28 May - 3 August 2019



Director | Polly Findlay 

Writer | Githa Sowerby

Set Design | Lizzie Clachan

Lighting Designer | Charles Balfour 

Sound Designer | Paul Arditti


Roger Allam 

Joe Armstrong

Anjana Vasam 

Harry Hepple 

Barbara Marten 

Justine Mitchell 

Sally Rogers 

Sam Troughton 

In this world, director Polly Findlay (and movement director Polly Bennett) orchestrate a subtle dance of meaning; where people sit, and when they sit or stand, create an undertow of significance. When a drunken mother (Sally Rogers) comes to plead against the dismissal of her son, she literally hovers on the steps into the room, not quite sure if she is allowed to enter. Her revelation of a crucial plot point comes when she finally takes off her coat and sits down. Similarly, the family's shifting relationships as they struggle for air against Rutherford's oppressive rule are beautifully observed. Findlay's direction is full of small, telling details that explain unmarried daughter Janet's heartfelt cry: "It's like a prison. There's not a scrap of love in the whole house."

Sarah Crompton, Whatsonstage ****