The latest offering from writer Torben Betts, the play sees a middle class London couple relocate to a small town in the north and invite their new neighbours round for drinks, leading to a clash of class and culture.
This brand of social commentary is typical of Betts’s work; perhaps his most well known play (winner of the 2007 Best New Play award at the Critics' Awards for Theatre in Scotland), The Unconquered is an anti-capitalist satire of the fiercest nature. Yet his writing is also intensely poetic, with the rhythms of the text serving to accentuate his potent messages, a particularly effective technique when regional accents and their differing cadences are involved.
The cast from Invincible’s original run are all following it to the St James. The two women in this four hander are perhaps the best known: Samantha Seager as Jodie Morton in Coronation Street and Laura Howard as Cully Barnaby in Midsomer Murders. Yet this is an ensemble with no weak links and the four (including David Copeland and Darren Strange) work together beautifully. As Laura Howard’s character is an artist, the production also features two brilliant portraits by Yamsin Dosanjh.
Invincible West End transfer
We are particularly interested to see how Invincible is restaged in its new home. The Orange Tree is an in-the-round space (where the stage is in the middle, with the audience all around), and the claustrophobia of an awkward domestic interaction will have been greatly enhanced by that. With the traditional set back proscenium arch stage of The St James, the production will have to work a little harder to achieve that quality, but the script and actors are both so good that with careful directorial and design alteration we think the show will adapt quite beautifully to its new surroundings.
Invincible review: Culture Whisper says
Torben Betts has been compared to Alan Ackybourn in his comedic portrayal of relationships framed, and often defined by their social status. Invincible showcases Betts' brilliance as he observes the relationships he writes with an altogether more intimate lens. The 4 characters, 1 room dynamic at the St James Theatre made a distinct and welcome contrast from Ackybourn's "Small Family Business" staged within a busy, full scale house at the National this year. By implication the portrayals are incredibly touching as well as humorous. A real roller coaster of wit, tears and frustration, this is domestic drama at its very best. Each of the characters were played to perfection by an inordinately talented cast. Alan, played by Daniel Copeland, was a triumph, negotiating the line between playing a hilarious fool and playing a husband in sickness and in health with real poise. Don't miss out on this gem, it really will take you by surprise.
|What||Invincible, St James Theatre|
|Where||The Other Palace Theatre, 12 Palace Street, London, SW1E 5JA | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Victoria (underground)|
10 Jul 14 – 09 Aug 14, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via St James Theatre|