How To Catch A Rabbit

How To Catch A Rabbit
theSpaces on the Mile (Venue 39b)
3 stars ***

THERE’S A TERRIFIC poetic talent somewhere behind this intense one-hour play, presented by the new Revolving Shed student company from the LSE. Seizing on the vital subject of the fate of traveller communities in our increasingly claustrophobic and conformist society, Alex Rodin’s powerful text uses a series of short, alternating scenes and songs, each one titled like a poem, to evoke the life of a community on the edge, and constantly under threat of dispersal and destruction, but still bursting with a kind of sassy erotic energy and resilience that settled folk can only envy.

The scene is a council campsite somewhere in east London, where a few traveller families live on sufferance, while locals leer at them, project all kinds of misdemeanours onto them, and plot to get rid of them. Crammed into a tiny space at the Radisson, Rodin’s production – for a cast of six plus a violinist, playing a terrific live score – seems short of space and long on overpitched, shouty performance; there’s just too much sound and fury here, some needlessly showy acting, and not enough willingness to let the poetry speak for itself. Still, this is a debut production ablaze with talent; and a new play full of creative potential, on a subject that tells us more about the society we live in than it’s altogether comfortable to know.

Joyce McMillan
Until 29 August
p. 270


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