The Haystack, Hampstead Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until March 12, 2020


This is a fascinating thriller about spies, surveillance and the survival of our society as we know it. How do the good guys sift through the information that we are all constantly generating in order to find the bad guys? Do we really have nothing to worry about if we're not doing anything wrong? This is a first-rate story that raises some disturbing questions. When it comes to modern communications, we rather blithely tend to assume that we are trading some of our privacy for security and it is worth the price. The Haystack raises a lot of questions about that easy assumption: a young journalist gets tangled in a complex web of politics and deceit while some computer nerds learn that working at GCHQ is not playing a computer game. Writer, Al Blyth, provides a thought-provoking and thoroughly entertaining night in the theatre, and director, Roxana Silbert, paces this piece so that our interest never flags. The work by Tom Piper and the designers beautifully takes us into the world of modern communications without distracting from the story. The strong cast led by Oliver Johnstone (Neil) and Rona Morison (Cora) create completely credible characters and manage to humanise what could be some rather abstract concerns. The two principals manage to engage us completely in their moral dilemmas and their fraught relationship. Similarly, Enyi Okoronkwo (Zef) is excellent as the happy-go-lucky nerd who simply enjoys the game of it all, complementing his more troubled friend. Lucy Black (Denise) and Sarah Woodward (Hannah) offer wonderfully balanced performances as representatives of the institutional forces of journalism and government. It all adds up to a thoroughly engrossing evening in the theatre, dealing with questions not often raised on the stage and not sufficiently considered by most of us. This is definitely a show you should see!

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆☆☆ 

Want to save on tickets? See our Tips page.

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until March 12, 2020
Mon - Sat: 7:30 pm
Wed: 2:30 pm & Sat: 3 pm
Thu Mar 12: 2 pm
Hampstead Theatre
Nearest tube: Swiss Cottage
https://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2020/the-haystack/

Most Popular

The Pleasure Garden: A Vauxhall Musical ★★★★ Above The Stag Theatre | Sep 15 - Oct 17, 2021

Back to the Future: The Musical ★★★★★ Adelphi Theatre | From September 13, 2021

Tokyo Rose ★★★★★ Southwark Playhouse | Sep 23 - Oct 16, 2021

Closer Than Ever ★★★★ Ginger Quiff Media (online) | From September 23, 2021

Cupid's Revenge ★★★★★ The Place | October 14 - 16, 2021

Small Change ★★★★★ Omnibus Theatre | Sep 14 - Oct 2, 2021

Lately ★★★★ Lion & Unicorn Theatre | October 5 - 9, 2021

Snowflakes ★★★★ Old Red Lion Theatre | Sep 28 - Oct 16, 2021

How to Survive an Apocalypse ★★★ Finborough Theatre | Sep 28 - Oct 23, 2021

The Last Five Years ★★★★★ Garrick Theatre | Sep 17 - Oct 17, 2021

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings