Showcasing the structural ingenuity for which he is becoming renowned, Payne entwines three tales to explore the complexities of the human brain. First we are transported back to 1950s America as a pathologist decides to steal Albert Einstein’s brain in the name of scientific development. Then we cross the Atlantic to look at the English approach to neurology in the same era with a depiction of the muddled aftermath of pioneering brain surgery. Finally we end in contemporary London with a bisexual neuropsychologist on the brink of a broken marriage who believes that the brain is an illusion: ‘there is no me, there is no you, and there is certainly no self’.
This web of illusion and identity is reflected in the flitting form and layered intensity of Payne’s writing. The themes of memory, self and free will that he explored so captivatingly in Constellations are recapitulated here. As Payne’s third play in 12 months Incognito is set to be the promising young playwright’s biggest success so far.
Joe Murphy’s direction brings clarity to the separate but overlapping stories, plaiting them together deftly. An engrossing performance is given by Paul Hickey (Saving Private Ryan), Amelia Lowndell (Essex Boys; Taming of the Shrew), Sargon Yelda (Dead Cat) and Alison O’Donell (BBC’s Shetland). Given the rave reviews this show’s brief staging in Suffolk garnered, this is a must-see on the London stage.
|What||Incognito, Bush Theatre|
|Where||Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, London, W12 8LJ | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Shepherd's Bush Market (underground)|
14 May 14 – 21 Jun 14, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Bush Theatre|