Speaking in Tongues (Duke of York Theatre, 12th December 2009)

This was a very complex and interesting play.  I heard someone in the audience say that you had to really concentrate, so I did and was really prepared for the twists and turns. 

I tend to agree with Michael Billington’s review that the play seemed to be set in  time and no where, and I found this made the play a little old-fashioned in feel.  It was a dark play and the auditorium was really dark when we took our seats.   I’m not sure if that was to get us into the feel of the play, but it’s hard to settle into a seat in the dark.

The play opens in a dingy bar and moves to a hotel bedroom.  We soon realise that this is two hotel rooms and these are interconnecting stories.  The play reveals relationships between different characters.  We hear fragments of stories that we are then as an audience asked to piece together.  The actors all play more than one role.  John Simm is an unfaithful policemen and the unemployed Nick.  Ian Hart plays three roles, the cheated husband, the cheating husband and the jilted lover.  We as an audience are invited and directed to fill in the blank.  The therapist is at the bottom of hill and we can work out it is her client at the top in the dream. 

Speaking in Tongues is short and the second half is particularly short, but it is intense as well.  I really enjoyed watching John Simm in the two different roles.  I am particulary looking forward to seeing his Hamlet in Sheffield next year.

Previews and Reviews

John Simm in the Independent
Independent on Speaking in Tongues
Speaking in Tongues in the Evening Standard
The Times on Speaking in Tongues
Speaking in Tongues
WOS on Speaking in Tongues
Official London Theatre on Speaking on Tongues
The Stage on Speaking in Tongues
The Guardian on Speaking in Tongues
Independent on Sunday on Speaking In Tongues and Mother Courage

John Simm Speaking in Tongues

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