There’s a hint of absurdism in Vorozhbit’s script that is coupled with desolate, and often strikingly violent encounters. Featherstone accentuates the barren atmosphere by disregarding straightforward and naturalistic staging. Trees trunks clutter the stage, and a conversation in a car is not limited by the spatial confines of a car at all. Sometimes a bathtub or a freezer, objects placed between the trees, become focal points for the action. The terrain feels uncharted, unkept. It makes for an engaging if not sometimes uncertain atmosphere.
Each snapshot deals with a different relationship impacted by war. Some of these stories are romantic, and Vorozhbit’s writing is at its best when combining the typical, even banal, parts of the everyday with the brutality of war. Individual scenes move towards their own climax, but sadly there isn’t an ultimate narrative arch that propels the piece. At times it’s therefore slow-moving. What might be considered the epilogue is perhaps the most intriguing, the most comedic, and the most unnerving of the scenes.
The best moments are accentuated with the use of light and music, and Featherstone shows us that terror does not have to be seen to be felt. Frustratingly, none of the characters have names, but Mike Noble and Anne Lacey shine in their roles. The rest of the ensemble are also strong, each with a different regional accent, which further accentuates the limitless effects of war.
Bleak, harrowing, and sometimes bitterly funny, Bad Roads is a stark and piercing examination of the effect of war on women.
Explore the Royal Court autumn winter 2017 season
|What||Bad Roads, Royal Court Theatre review|
Royal Court Theatre
Sloane Square, London, SW1W 8AS | MAP
|Nearest tube||Sloane Square (underground)|
15 Nov 17 – 23 Dec 17, 7:45 PM – 10:00 PM
|Price||£12 - £45|
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Court|