Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Alone in Suburbia

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Alone in Suburbia

Article excerpt


HOUSE ** (VERY GOOD) Barbican Pit

THE cast of four faces the audience, immobile, as if they had no more life than the dirty white backdrop.

To the onlooker trying to decode them, they look like plastic models representing the essence of American suburbia: if you bought them as a set, they'd come with a large TV, his and her baseball shirts, and a collection of discarded fast-food boxes.

As one of the many bright theatrical lights to emerge from the Steppenwolf theatrical stable, writer and director Richard Maxwell has marked himself out as a man who mocks the artifice of theatre at the same time as creating a magnetic style.

The characters do not shape their sentences, modulate the emotions in their voices or show their feelings on their faces, and the result is a form of anti-acting that makes catharsis seem like hysteria.

Maxwell insists that his work is defiantly irrelevant, and has joked that "If an audience wishes to apply this to society, go for it". …

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