Here’s what the press thought of my work on Debbie Tucker Green’s new play at the Royal Court Theatre:
“The event hovers in that strange limbo between tribunal and theatre, neither one nor the other, and everyone’s story, you feel, has the potential of exploding onto a higher dramatic plane. The witnesses and plaintiffs cross fade into each other in an oval committee room of stiff-backed chairs, a burnt out floor and chalk testimonials to the victims on the seats of the audience. Designer Lisa Marie Hall miraculously makes you feel you’ve never been in this attic venue before – I’ve been going there since it opened over forty years ago,” Michael Coveney, What’s On Stage.
“…this is a play of small gestures that gradually blossom into big statements…Designer Lisa Marie Hall, who also worked on Green’s television adaptation of Random, has turned the theatre into a dark cavern with punishing wooden seats for both audience and cast. Across the black floor, there are muddy footprints, as livid as bruises, and the names of victims appear everywhere: on walls, on seats, on the stairs. Behind this dark atmosphere of fear and loss, you can hear the sounds of voices chanting and hands clapping,” Aleks Sierz, The Arts Desk.
“It is a sombre, painful, patient piece, innovative in form…The chairs are a running theme, with characters shifting them or refusing to sit on them, seeing them as symbolic of guilt or acceptance, stools of penance even. Lisa Marie Hall’s atmospheric, oval design has the audience likewise seated on hard wooden chairs, as if witnesses to the proceedings…an extraordinary and moving piece of theatre,” Sarah Hemming, FT
“...a dark, tense and claustrophobic in-the-round production. And as you climb up to the Theatre Upstairs you are confronted with the names of the dead. (It) nags away potently in the memory long after the performance is over,” Charles Spencer, Daily Telegraph
“a strikingly reconfigured Theatre Upstairs: the audience’s chairs are marked with chalk testimonials, the oval acting area is a gravel pit of cross-fading special pleading,” Michael Coveney, Independent