Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Free Market

I've been looking forward to Market Boy at the Nationalfor a while now. I loved David Eldridge's adaptation of Festen, love it, loved it, and was intrigued by his faith in the idea of 'Monsterist' theatre - big themes dealt with in a big way.

Well Market Boy is big, there's no doubting that. A big cast that completely fills the Olivier stage. Eldridge's play is set in Romford market in the 1980s and takes on every excess of the decade, but some of its targets were awfully broad - the bad hair, the bad clothes, the bad music. The plot was non-existant and it was difficult to care about the thinly sketched characters.

The humour was pretty crude as well, though admittedly very funny. I did laugh a lot. So I guess that's something. Especially at the cartoonish Maggie Thatcher who occasionally interrupted proceedings in her blue suit and gravity defying hair do. But, having only recently seen Festen, as part of its UK tour, and having its intricacies still fresh in my mind, I was expecting so much more from this and was disappointed. I seem to be in the minority though. Most of the major critics have given it rave reviews.

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