Mermaid Theatre, London EC4
Opened 24 April, 1992

London Theatre Ensemble's début production arrives in town after a tour of Portugal. It shows daring less in its dramatic approach than in what it demands of unaccustomed English audiences: that they watch a bilingual, untranslated performance with open minds. And in truth, any problems will be with audience intransigence rather than the work itself, which is clear and thoughtful throughout.

Against Claudia Mayer's spare, well-judged set the Anglo-Portuguese cast enact the Bible's greatest hits (a clutch of Genesis biggies and much of the Jesus and Mary Chain); their dedication to the process of storytelling across linguistic frontiers pays off in abundance. All other things being equal, it's one of those productions where simply nothing is wrong – that attain the standard all theatre should routinely hit, but so little does. Add the bilingual aspect, and the Ensemble's unostentatious achievement becomes admirable indeed. See it to broaden your own horizons, see it to support such projects, above all see it because it's a damn good show. In short, see it.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

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