Archive for August 8th, 2009

Mini-review – Jerusalem – Royal Court Jerwood Theatre

August 8, 2009

Jerusalem is a very long play, and with 3 1/4 hours of play to discuss, and what with it being sold out, I find myself more attracted to brevity in writing about it as a change of pace. Jerusalem is what the Scottish Peer Gynt wishes it had been: a long visit with a trailer-dwelling rascal that never wears out its welcome. Rooster, the lead character, is a late-middle-age tomcat who makes a living dealing drugs and going on the occasional house-painting expedition, as required by local housewives; he’s earned the ire of nearly every person in town. Yet despite this, he’s not a bad character, though thankfully not a “lovable rogue.” He likes to party, but he’s no hypocrite, and despite the underaged shenanigans going on around him, he keeps his hands off the teenaged girls and really “gets” that what they’re doing is pretty much what kids have always been doing.

Though there’s certainly a plot to this play, to me it seemed far more about character, and creating a place and time that seemed very real (and very modern Somerset, if I’m not mistaken). I liked how real the players seemed, and enjoyed having an opportunity to hear some different voices on stage – and a more realistic depiction of life outside of Lodon than I usually see. While I don’t think there’s enough to it to make it a classic and doubt it will get revived, it was certainly worth seeing and a good night out. (Also, the sight of two teenaged girls leaping over chairs and couches to get at lines of coke is one I won’t soon forget.)

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