Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Young Talent Shines - and Fails to Flicker

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Young Talent Shines - and Fails to Flicker

Article excerpt

Byline: FIONA MOUNTFORD

Bright/Playing Fields Soho Theatre

IF THERE'S one thing the theatre does well, it's presentation. For this double bill of work from its admirable Young Writers' Programme, the Soho Theatre cleverly staged the outstanding play first, sending the audience out in an interval buzz of excited chatter. Most will wish that they had not returned for the other.

Indeed, the mystery is why this should have been put before a paying public.

"You don't have to be mad to be admitted here, but it helps" could well be the coffeemug slogan for the NHS psychiatric ward depicted in 25-year-old Polly Wiseman's excellent Bright. A twin mug would read: "And if you weren't when you arrived, you certainly will be when you leave."

This, at least, is the sad fate of 20-year-old Clair, who is sectioned as bipolar, but who sees the world in sharper focus. Clair's energy is both exhilarating and terrifying; when she is finally discharged, she is a muted, drugged shadow of her former self. …

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