Berlin. 1932. A group of artists and communists throw a decadent party to celebrate the coming new year. But as the country succumbs to the seduction of Nazism they are forced to choose between integrity and survival. Shocking and provocative, the play caused a sensation when it was first performed. From Pulitzer-prize winning playwright Tony Kushner, A Bright Room Called Day examines the darkest reaches of the human heart.
If you follow my Facebook page you’ll already know that as a massive fan of theatre I was really excited to be contacted by the producer of A Bright Room Called day, Jessica Campbell, about offering readers of Broke in the Big Smoke discounted tickets to the show. Not only that but I was given a complimentary ticket to see the show myself which I did last night and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I’d never been to the Southwark Playhouse before but I really loved this quirky little modern theatre. There are two spaces within the Playhouse; the little (holding 120 people) and the large (240 capacity) as well as a bar/cafe area. I wish I’d known that they did food prior to turning up as I would have eaten here rather than the pub up the road (which I’ll blog about soon too as it was really bloody good). I just loved the atmosphere of the place with the eclectic decoration and furniture. The play took place in the little space which led to a very intimate experience, even more so due to the fact that you had to cross the stage to get to your seats.
The opening scene of the show where a group of friends are celebrating the New Year with a party completely sucked me in but it was the switching between 1930’s Germany to Zillah, with her political comparisons between Reagan and Hitler, in 1980’s America was what kept me hooked. Indeed by the end of the first half I was so immersed in the story that I didn’t want the break to happen! The first scene of the second half however seemed so fantastical and out-of-place that it took more time for me to get back in to the story which was quite disappointing after a stunning first half.
Now I’m no history buff and I have no doubt that a lot of the intricacies of the plot were probably lost on me but even so I found this performance a joy to watch. It’s been nominated for not one but two Offie nominations; Best Female for Alana Ramsey as Agnes and Best Director for Seb Harcombe however my favourite in the show had to be Laura Hanna as the self-indulgent, opium-addicted actress Paulinka and I found myself drawn to her whenever she was on stage. He acting reminded me greatly of Hattie Morahan’s performance as Nora in A Doll’s House which if you’ve read my review on that is a very high compliment indeed.
It’s showing until Saturday the 16th August and tickets are a complete bargain at just £18 but of course as I mentioned above as readers of my blog you can get the tickets for just £12 by entering the code BRIGHT2 at checkout or mentioning it when you call to book.