Borderland, Brockley Jack 24 April

*

OK so this play depicts life in a semi-abandoned estate in the dystopia of the near future with a range of stereotyped characters who talk at each other in laboured and unconvincing phrases.  It lost me at the beginning when derelict old Oliver rotting and abandoned in his flat was dressed in a dressing-gown much neater and cleaner than mine.  Then Lucy the looter came in to engage in some inconsequential dialogue and I thought it was a smear of dirt on her face–realism indeed!–but it was a bruise from her boyfriend Darren, broken and returned from foreign wars.

It was all so dragging and unengaging.  It was without either any recognisable time and place or univeral mythic resonance.  (Hard to see that it had to do with South London, though you did have the black guy as pimp and apprentice gangster.)

So let’s be positive.  Darren getting kicked and beaten by Tray was quite nicely choreographed.  The scene between Lucy as prostitute and her client was interesting because playwright Carol Vine clearly didn’t really believe that people could do such things.  Kirstie Brough as Lucy put in a brave and determined performance.  I think I learned some new words:  flid, t-bar, jesy, but maybe not with those meanings.

…it didn’t last very long…

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