Tuesday 4 December 2012
Theatre review: Hero
The chip on Jamie's shoulder is bigger than he is, and soon he's implying that since Danny is actually gay, he should be the one getting the stick. Quite how Danny's sarcastic reply that he should come out to his class turns into a genuine determination to do so is unclear, but with Joe worrying that any controversy could affect their chances of being allowed to adopt, he sticks to his guns. Meanwhile Jamie's discomfort at being thought gay is nothing to what happens when much more aggressive homophobes target him.
It's disappointing that the only woman in a play by a female playwright is a cipher - Jamie's wife Lisa (Susannah Wise) does at least seem to realise what an utter cock he is, although why she not only stays with him but is determined to get pregnant by him is another matter. As for the play's only well-adjusted character, the Hero of the title seems to have been taken very literally, with Danny a positively messianic figure, all fluttering eyelashes and soothing wisdom, which eventually grates as much as his nemesis' anger issues.
I feel bad about being harsh on a young playwright and there is the odd good moment (Danny's description of how he taught "inclusion" is nicely performed and has a sense of hope in a better future from the children,) while very occasionally one of the attempts at humour lands, but almost everything else about Hero is a shouty, unholy mess.
Hero by E.V. Crowe is booking until the 22nd of December at the Royal Court's Jerwood Theatre Upstairs.
Running time: 2 hours including interval.