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You can’t stop the boats: Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea @ParkTheatre

Sorry We Didn’t Die At Sea by Italian playwright Emanuele Aldrovandi and translated by Marco Young, has made a topical return to London at the Park Theatre after playing earlier this summer at the Seven Dials Playhouse. In a week when leaders and leaders in waiting were talking about illegal immigration, it seemed like a topical choice . It also has one hell of an evocative title. The piece opens with Adriano Celantano’s Prisencolinensinainciusol , which sets the scene for what we are about to see. After all, a song about communication barriers seems perfect for a play about people trafficking and illegal immigration. One side doesn’t understand why they happen, and the other still comes regardless of the latest government announcement / slogan .  However, the twist here is that the crossing is undertaken the other way. People are fleeing Europe instead of escaping war or poverty in Africa or the Middle East. It’s set sometime in the not-too-distant future. There is a crisis causing p

Another look at bathroom mind games: Mydidae

The last time I saw Mydidae in December the full frontal nudity seemed a bit of a novelty. Now a few months later and transferred to the Trafalgar Studios, it is not the only show in the West End where the actors bare all, but they are probably still the only ones with a fully-plumbed bathroom.

While the prospect of seeing actors live and vulnerable is no doubt enough to arouse the interest of the punters, it is not all cheap laughs. Innocent and amusing banter soon becomes a voyeuristic look into shattered dreams and provocations.

The play has undergone some changes since it was last presented in December. They don't alter the overall structure of the piece. But whether it was the benefit of seeing it previously or the ongoing polishing and refining of the work, the events seemed much clearer and felt like the drama progressed more naturally this time around. The audience reaction was also much stronger with greater laughs and more palpable gasps.

It still is a funny and frank exploration of a young couple with a secret. Pheobe Waller-Bridge and Keir Charles undress, shave, wash and urinate in front of the audience. But it is how you feel as an audience member peering in on a couples mundane and not so mundane daily existence that gives this piece an intensity and brutal honesty.

Waller-Bridge and director Vicky Jones are Co-Artistic director of DryWrite, the theatre company behind this production. They asked writer Jack Thorne, whose other play credits include The Physicists at the Donmar, to set a play about a man and a woman in a bathroom as a means of exploring the subject of privacy and intimacy... Through a series of seemingly ordinary gestures and exchanges they build up to something that is extraordinary and shocking

Whether it is a great night out might depend on how you like your theatrical experiences. But it is not the sort of evening that you are likely to forget in a hurry. The last time around I met an ex colleague after the show who was dragged to the theatre by his girlfriend. They both loved the piece but it may make you think twice about sharing a soothing bath...

Downstairs at the Trafalgar Studios is just as intimate a space as the Soho Theatre and if you missed it last time now is your chance. It runs through to 30 March.

Photo credits: Simon Annand and Richard Lakos

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