Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Update. April 2013: Burlesque has now become 'The Incomers' and is currently touring. Click on the photo (right) for details.
I witnessed something very wonderful tonight.
In a small black lined room beneath the Drill Hall in London a cast of four, directed by Paul Jepson, performed a read through of Murray Lachlan Young's verse play 'Burlesque'.
'For fuck's sake a read through of a verse play.' I hear you groan. Well my biddies twas a polished piece of Cornish granite slapped onto the London clay.
The plot of course was truly bonkers and all the more real for that; Murray, in order to be a great humourist, is firstly a great and attentive observer of our times... Or perhaps his times. It involved the visit by a London cokehead, Porsche driving wideboy and his hot young squeeze to old friends in rural Cornwall. It was all about power and of course the power of sex and of course that power belonged to the hot young squeeze. It however (like shakespeare) never once looked to farce to save it's bacon. I'm saying no more than that.
A verse play of this ambition could have been an awful thing, could have been bum numbingly Art house, could have been perverse. Murray's play is a delight; Playfully funny stabbed by daggers of reality, relationship truths, lies and insecurities. This was Joe Orton, Dylan Thomas and the Angry young Men on coke. I wish Ken Tynan had been here to witness it.
The players: Rory Wilton, Mary Woodvine, Jerome Wright and Kirsty Osmon were impeccably cast and did their job with skill, enthusiasm and joy.
All in all seriously good.
The development of Burlesque has only been possible through financial support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It needs extra funding and support now and if you love good British theatre give it a boost. Check out www.murraylachlanyoung.co.uk to find out how.
Matthew Linley, the producer deserves a namecheck too: www.matthewlinley.wordpress.com