Monday 15 October 2012
Theatre review: Fireface
Productions in the Young Vic's smallest performance space tend to embrace rather than disguise the room's rough-and-ready appearance, and Amanda Stoodley's design is no exception, the family's home a raised MDF box whose many shelves at the back hold all the props and costumes that'll be needed over the course of the 90 minutes, as well as providing the occasional place for one or other of the siblings to crouch and hide away from the world. Though they're not without their somewhat creepy eccentricities - Mother (Helen Schlesinger) is prone to menstruating over the bathroom floor and not cleaning it up, or washing her ladygarden in front of her son; Father (David Annen) is fixated with news stories of murdered prostitutes - it's more the parents' unwillingness to face their children's situation that seems to be behind how badly damaged they are: Even after Kurt has burnt his face in an attempted arson and been expelled from school, they talk almost jokingly about his going through adolescence, and even joke that his problems have brought the two of them closer together.
Fireface by Marius von Mayenberg in a translation by Maja Zade is booking until the 20th of October at the Young Vic's Clare.
Running time: 1 hour 35 minutes straight through.