Mini-review – Song from Far Away – Toneelgroep Amsterdam at The Young Vic

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Right. You’re an international investment banker living in New York, and your brother has died.

You go home. Amsterdam. So many memories. Your family. So much baggage.

Sex. And death.

Watching this play, a love song to Amsterdam, an examination of how people handle the impact of death, I found myself admiring the simplistic design: a quarter room in which the protagonist sits, still, silhouetted; the other room, with beautifully reflective windows that sometimes show the snow and allow him to pontificate about what Dutch design has to say about Dutch values. And I slowly but surely found myself being lulled to sleep, a condition against which I fought courageously but not strongly enough.

I didn’t lose the words of this show as I flickered back and forth between consciousness and free association, but I was left as unmoved as the narrator. Death hurts; death is more than tears. Bella Heesom covered it far more emotively in My World Has Exploded a Little Bit and didn’t even need to charge us 35 quid or take her clothes off to get her point across; for Ivo van Hove to do both of these things and yet leave us at the end indifferent to our narrator seems positively criminal both artistically and creatively. The brevity of the piece did not stop other audience members from making their leaps at regaining those few lucky minutes granted to us on earth: I only wished I had joined them.

(This review is for a performance that took place on Saturday, September 5th, 2015. It continues through September 19th.)

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3 Responses to “Mini-review – Song from Far Away – Toneelgroep Amsterdam at The Young Vic”

  1. RRRennie Says:

    Holland sucks. Nothing more to say. It would be so difficult to sit through that garbage — anything related to Holland. It is the only country noted where as this tragic production in New Mexico of people being reduced to regurgitated vomit as a tired script of far from stellar progress noting the inhospitable whining about crises of their own doing. I’ve met so many people, but they come up with the most lame excuses to justify their collective — take, take, take without offering hospitality. Thanks Webcowgirl. LOVED that, as I cannot stand Holland. They have supported the USA in making horrible choices to move beyond every negative stereotype of an Indian or Chinese sweatshop.

  2. Mini-Review – Photograph 51 – Noel Coward Theater | Life in the Cheap Seats - Webcowgirl's London theatre reviews Says:

    […] and it’s paced briskly, so it’s almost impossible to be bored before the end (unlike other plays on right now). It has affordably priced tickets (ten pounds in the front row of the gods, a completely […]

  3. Review – Hedda Gabler – Ivo Van Hove at the National Theater | Life in the Cheap Seats - Webcowgirl's London theatre reviews Says:

    […] it’s possible that it could never meet my expectations (given how I feel about the script): Song from Far Away managed to turn suicide into a nap fest. But this was Hedda. I was ready to be blown […]

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