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

24th Aug 15 :: Review: Dismaland
Banksy's bemusement park in Weston-super-Mare
5
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: Munch
Edinburgh Fringe 2015
5
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: Billy Through the Window
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
5
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: The Solid Life of Sugar Water
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
5
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: Festivus
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
4
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: The Quentin Dentin Show
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
1
21st Aug 15 :: Review: Scaramouche Jones
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
5
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Girl from Nowhere
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
5
20th Aug 15 :: Review: The Big Bite Sized Breakfast Show (3)
Edinburgh Fringe 2015. Menu 3.
4
20th Aug 15 :: Review: St George is Cross
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
4
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Hal Cruttenden
Edinburgh Fringe 2015. Straight Outta Cruttenden
5
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Trainspotting
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
5
20th Aug 15 :: Review: If I were Me
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
4
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
4
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Institute
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
5
20th Aug 15 :: Review: A Very British Childhood
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
2
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Tonight with Donny Stixx
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
5
20th Aug 15 :: Review: The Big Bite Sized Breakfast Show (2)
Edinburgh Fringe 2015. Menu 2.
4
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Richard Parker
Edinburgh Fringe 2015. C Nova
3
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Picasso Stole the Mona Lisa
Edinburgh Fringe 2015. C Nova.
1

Most Popular Stories

20th Aug 15 :: Review: Trainspotting
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
24th Aug 15 :: Review: Dismaland
Banksy's bemusement park in Weston-super-Mare
20th Aug 15 :: Review: Girl from Nowhere
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: Festivus
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: The Solid Life of Sugar Water
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: Munch
Edinburgh Fringe 2015
22nd Aug 15 :: Review: Billy Through the Window
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
20th Aug 15 :: Review: St George is Cross
Edinburgh Fringe 2015.
20th Aug 15 :: Review: The Big Bite Sized Breakfast Show (3)
Edinburgh Fringe 2015. Menu 3.

SeatChoice Blog

Dismaland Ticket Touting
£3 Dismaland tickets on sale for £1,500 on eBay. Really?
Benedict Cumberbatch Asks Fans To Stop Filming His Hamlet Performance
Yet another star has to remind his fanbase that theatre is not the right place to film with your mobile!
Edinburgh Fringe - a first for me
Looking forward to reviewing, if I can fight through the treacle of getting tickets
Those damned phones again
Yet another example of audience rudeness with a phone!
Liverpool's St George's Hall To Unveil Old Floor
Visitors to Liverpool’s St Georges Hall will get the rare opportunity to view the spectacular Grade II listed building in all of its remarkable glory this August, as its famous Minton Tiled flooring will once again be unveiled
A Magic Mike Musical? Please, Save us From The Horror
There's been a lot of theatre news this week that has us quite excited, as well as some that makes us hang our heads in despair.
Is The Cult of Celebrity Entirely Welcome In Theatre World?
While the cult of celebrity definitely has its place, one could argue that its place is not at the stage door.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation
The RSC announces the 14 UK Amateur Groups cast in A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation
Frontier Theatre Aims to Give Older Performers The Chance To Shine
Age is a barrier in the arts. It's a widely acknowledged fact that there is a severe lack of roles out there for performers who are considered 'older', especially actresses.

SeatChoice theatre blog»

© UK Theatre Web, UK
1995-2015
Developed and Maintined by RMJIoldGoogle+ Author
Tickets by SeatChoice
Listings powered by Dynamic Listing Ltd

UK Theatre Sites Cookies in Use