You Stupid Darkness! - Southwark Playhouse - ★★★★ - Until February 22, 2020

Photographer: Ali Wright.

“Life goes on” is what Sam Steiner seems to say in You Stupid Darkness! This is borne out in James Grieve's beautifully conceived production, Amy Jane Cook's design and Peter Small's terrific lighting. We are in some undefined post-apocalyptic Samaritans-like call centre as toxic storms rage outside. The team leader (the excellent Jenni Maitland) is at first irritatingly bossy but slowly gains our sympathy as does the skittish Angie (Lydia Larsen); her despair as she loses a caller is beautifully realised. Andy Rush is tremendous as subtly gay Jon whilst Andrew Finnigan (Joey) completes a superb cast. We see Joey's work-experience serve to delicately mature him from a boy to a man. The scene where the undertones of gay attraction emerge is also tremendously well played. There are moments of telling silence and some excellent laughs. The characters deal with people experiencing depression and other mental health issues whilst simultaneously battling their own demons, and the cast present them in an extremely relatable manner. Similarly, the issues portrayed are approached with both insight and sensitivity. In the final scene of this excellent work the only light comes from candles, and the floor is actually awash due to a flood – but still life goes on.

Reviewed by D.S.J.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆ 

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WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until February 22, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm, Tue & Sat: 3 pm
Southwark Playhouse
Nearest tube: Elephant and Castle
https://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/show/you-stupid-darkness/

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