Bush Theatre, London W12
Opened 15 March, 2010
Even the simplest departures from front-end-on staging seem to bewilder many supposedly more mature sensibilities.  At the press performance of Eigengrau at the Bush, noted Aleks Sierz in his blog at, a couple of critics on the opposite bank of traverse seating seemed to spend more time looking at their scripts than the action onstage.  One of the pair, Quentin Letts, remarked on Mark Shenton’s The Stage blog that “if Mr Sierz repeatedly spotted that I was looking down at the text, he himself clearly was not watching the action on stage, but looking at my handsome chops instead!”  Surprisingly, it didn’t seem to occur to him that part of the point of traverse staging, both in general and in this particular case, is to force ourselves to watch each other and be watched.  Quentin justifies himself on Mark’s blog by saying “That play at the Bush is so bloody awful you want to avert your eyes...” – again, even though he talks at some length in his review proper about what he assumes are attempts to shock, it doesn’t seem to occur to him that an unpleasant viewing experience may be part of the point.

Written for Theatre Record.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

Return to index of reviews for the year 2010

Return to master reviews index

Return to main theatre page

Return to Shutters homepage