Monday, November 28

The Woods – Southwark Playhouse

David Mamet’s ‘The Woods’ has always been a topic of conversation in its fantastical and mythical approach to the question of heterosexual relationships, and with Southwark Playhouse’s revival it’s likely to continue to be. However, since being written in 1977, I’m not sure of the play’s relevance to today/ what we are questioning since the rapid change of thought regarding our classic male and female stereotypes.

Mamet’s original question was to ask why male and female’s fail to get along and where our differences to natural desire to ‘nesting’ lies- in that classically males may dream of it but fear once it becomes reality and female’s may feel most at ease when their nest has settled. When watching, it’s very frustrating to see that not once is this couple on the same page and can forecast the violence that can boil from failing to be understood. We all knew where this relationship would end, however we must endure 3 acts of nonsensical language with confusing myths.

Photo: Pamela Raith Photography

This production was told intensely with rage and fierceness by Francesca Carpanini and Sam Frenchum who portrayed their characters wildly with expression, consistently keeping their energies frustrated by their want for love but their stubbornness to have it on their terms.

Seeing this play really does reflect how far we have come, and I do value classical texts, but should we not be approaching them with a clearer message as to why they are being put on and what does this add/ interrogate to the world we live in 50 odd years on.

Playing until the 26th March, https://www.southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/southwark-playhouse/the-woods/

Reviewer: Alice Rose

Reviewed: 1st March 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★

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