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Love is all you need: The Island @cervantesthtr

A drama set on the seventh floor of a non-descript hospital waiting room may not be everyone's idea of a great night at the theatre. But love and all other forms of the human condition are dissected in Juan Carlos Rubio's The Island. Translated by Tim Gutteridge, it feels like everything is up for grabs. What is love? Is it a bond between two women with a fifteen-year age gap? Is it the love between a mother and her son with a severe unknown disability? A wonderful life full of health and happiness is not always an option on the menu, and the choices may become a bit less palatable. Throughout a series of sometimes banal conversations, what comes out is a story of two women with lives that are separate and together. And while the piece becomes darker on one level as it progresses, it never ceases to fascinate and draw further insights into the couples. It's currently playing at the Cervantes Theatre .  A couple waits in a hospital waiting room for the outcome of an accident

Theatre: The Glass Menagerie

Tuesday evening I caught the excellent production of The Glass Menagerie starring Jessica Lange. I thought it was a superbly staged, acted and directed show. For over two hours I was kept alert (no falling asleep in the stalls tonight). Lange was great to see on stage. A simple stare seemed to convey so much. And when in the second act she puts on her best outfit for a gentleman caller you can't help but feel horrified and pity for her as well.

The rest of the cast were just as good. There was Ed Stoppard as Tom - the son who always seems to be going to the movies and coming home late (one time with a red handkerchief in his back pocket... Say no more). And Amanda Hale as the Laura the crippled daughter too nervous to face life and its disappointments... It may not be Tennessee William's best play (some of the flashbacks and the narration is jarring and unnecessary) but there is so much in this story to ponder over (at interval and at the bar after, on the tube home) that it is easy to overlook these minor flaws.

It was a pity this great production isn't playing to packed houses. Across the road, some guy who has done a few Harry Potter films is starring in a play about the psychology behind poking the eyes out of horses. He appears completely naked and it is playing to packed houses. I gather the only impressive thing about the play is the six-story billboard outside the theatre... Although the publicity shots look a bit smashing... Go figure...

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