Our Country's Good

4
Fri, 26th Oct 12
Our Country's Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker. Out of Joint. Oxford Playhouse.

Wertenbaker’s 1988 modern classic, Our Country’s Good, is one of my favourite plays and this Max Stafford Clarke’ revival delivered everything I wanted. It was moving, it was funny, it was passionate and it was atmospheric.
 
The play is based on Thomas Keneally’s novel ‘The Playmaker’ and centres on the first convicts shipped to Australia in 1798 and the subsequent attempt to stage Farquhar’s ‘The Recruiting Officer’. The company each take two or more roles excepting Dominic Thorburn, who plays Second Lieutenant Ralph Clarke,  the young idealistic officer who is tasked with producing the play. Ciaran Owens  gave us a brilliantly sadistic Major Ross coupled with a vulnerable, reluctant hangman in Ketch Freeman who was not only deeply likeable but set a few hearts fluttering judging by the teenage sighs that emanated from the audience whenever he looked particularly forlorn and alone. I really enjoyed Matthew Freedman as the exuberant Sideways and the erudite Captain Collins , and loved Kathryn O’Reilly as a powerful Liz Morden she maintained an extraordinary stillness that was compelling to watch. I could actually name the entire company here as there was not a weak link nor a weak characterisation, it was a masterclass in ensemble theatre.
 
The structure of the piece is episodic with many short scenes, this creates the challenge of keeping up the pace and the flow of the piece, but the scenes flowed in and out nicely helped by simple staging and costuming. Some of the scenes stood out as being of particular note, Duckling Smith’s (Lisa Kerr) emotional speech over Harry Brewer’s (Ian Redford) dying moments was incredibly moving and Ross’s sadistic treatment of the prisoners which they then attempt to deflect by their determined and deliberate rehearsal was powerfully done and very affecting.
 
This play is an A-level set text and – for me – one of the highlights of the evening was the overwhelmingly positive response from the young A-level students in the audience, I believe ‘roars of approval’ would be the appropriate cliché to use here. This is a terrific play with a terrific cast and I wish it well for the rest of the tour.


Search Reviews/News


Newsletter

Email*
Captcha*

Find us on-line

Facebook
SeatChoice page
Twitter
SeatChoice tweets
Android
The UKTW Android App for listings and information on the move
Wordpress Plugin
The UKTW Wordpress Plugin is now available so that you can add links and widgets easily to Wordpress sites
Linked-In
UKTW company page and Robert Iles
Google+
UKTW
Blog/Website
SeatChoice and Robert's personal
tumblr
UKTW tumblr page
rss
SeatChoice and UKTW

Latest News & Reviews

18th Aug 16 :: Review: Moonface
Three girl pass through life's hurdles
3
18th Aug 16 :: Review: Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More
A really spiffing wartime yarn
4
18th Aug 16 :: Review: Happiness is a Cup of Tea
Fiona is asked to write a eulogy & she didn't even know her mother was ill.
3
18th Aug 16 :: Review: Perfidious Lion
Bettine Mackenzie's solo show
5
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Virtual Reality Studio Session
A chance to sample simple VR systems
1
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Trainspotting
Returning to the fringe for a second year after its UK tour
5
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Love and Canine Integration
Guy Masterson talks about his own life
4
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Hess
Michael Burrell's award-winning one-man play
4
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Overshadowed
Sunday Child's play on eating disorders
3
17th Aug 16 :: Review: The Six-Sided Man
Play based on Luke Rhinehart's cult novel, The Dice Man
4
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Big Bite-Size Breakfast Show - Menu 2
Another set of shorts from Bite-Size Plays
3
17th Aug 16 :: Review: La Clique Encore
Cabaret in the Spiegeltent.
4
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Steam
Eve grapples with traumas buried deep in her past.
4
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Posh
Bad behaviour amongst the privileged young
3
17th Aug 16 :: Review: A Number
Caryl Churchill's play on the potential perils of cloning
3
16th Aug 16 :: Review: Verge of Strife
A play about Rupert Brooke
3
16th Aug 16 :: Review: Once...
Derevo's piece on love, laughter and loss
2
15th Aug 16 :: Review: The Naked Magicians
It does what it says on the tin
2

Most Popular Stories

18th Aug 16 :: Review: Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela More
A really spiffing wartime yarn
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Love and Canine Integration
Guy Masterson talks about his own life
17th Aug 16 :: Review: La Clique Encore
Cabaret in the Spiegeltent.
17th Aug 16 :: Review: The Six-Sided Man
Play based on Luke Rhinehart's cult novel, The Dice Man
18th Aug 16 :: Review: Perfidious Lion
Bettine Mackenzie's solo show
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Trainspotting
Returning to the fringe for a second year after its UK tour
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Hess
Michael Burrell's award-winning one-man play
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Steam
Eve grapples with traumas buried deep in her past.
17th Aug 16 :: Review: Overshadowed
Sunday Child's play on eating disorders

SeatChoice Blog

The Eddies 2016
Drayton Arms Theatre announces a new award for theatre companies performing at the Edinburgh Fringe
Theatreland Walking Tours
Let Sir Ian McKellen talk you around London's Theatreland.
70th Annual Tony Awards: All The Winners Plus The Best Bits!
Summary and comment on this year's Tony Awards
Why Theatre Needs To Be More Affordable For Families
As a mother of three children, I am trying my best to expose them to any and all art forms, especially live theatre..... I just wish it wasn't so expensive.
More Potter Portraits
And now the Malfoy family join the portrait gallery
Harry Potter Family Photos
The Weasley-Granger and Potter family photos have been released.
Paines Plough Pocket Plays
A new app brings you a whole bunch of short plays ... Come to Where I'm From
Theatre in Shoreditch
A new website showing the cultural history (including theatre) of the Shoreditch area of London
All the World's a Tweet
If you're tweeting then you could be helping complete the entire Works of Shakespeare at the Globe
Iphigenia in Splott on Digital Theatre
"Iphigenia in Splott" coming to Digital Theatre soon

SeatChoice theatre blog»

© UK Theatre Web, UK
1995-2016
Developed and Maintained by RMJIoldGoogle+ Author
Tickets by SeatChoice
Listings powered by Dynamic Listing Ltd

UK Theatre Sites Cookies in Use