An Intervention

It is a complete delight to watch these two actors practice their craft. Sadly, An Intervention, even with a new reworking for this rehearsed reading, is far from Mike Bartlett’s best work.

Pacing and comedic timing was beat perfect

We follow Charly Clive and Ellen Robetson who are playing old friends, one a teacher with a drinking problem, and the other in a relationship their friend doesn't approve of. They are the kind of friends that argue, so we follow them as they have a disagreement about the Iraq war. As we jump through time we see each of the characters lean on their friend as they struggle with personal and political trials, in a messy and passionate demonstration of the power of friendship.

Clare Lizzimore has cleverly directed the piece using clever framing and some very slick video editing, to really hit home during this time of lockdown, social distancing and pandemic. As the world became suddenly, painfully aware of the importance of strong networks of friendship for the world's happiness and mental health amongst an epidemic of loneliness. I won’t spoil the wonderful moment of connection, but it was beautifully done.

Clive and Robetson were excellent together. The fact they are childhood friends and have been working professionally together making comedy as Britney since 2016 comes across clearly in the piece. They have a natural chemistry that brings the important themes of the piece, that of long term friendships and having to tackle things you are not proud of with the people you love. Their pacing and comedic timing was beat perfect, as though they have been living in each other's pockets for years, which they may have actually done. They shine when the dialogue is working with them, and lift it well when it’s working against them.

Bartlett is one of the most exciting British playwrights currently working, his 2009 play Cock, is one of my favourite plays. Both An Intervention and Barlett’s much more well known play King Charles III, premiered in the same year, 2014. King Charles III is arguably the more popular with it’s national tours and a Broadway production. I know which one I saw at the time. Indeed both of the plays have similar issues of being full of potential at opening, and by the end of the piece having a sense of having wasted that potential. When the plot turns against the characters, they just seem to sit about talking about how bad that is. The characters don’t really react to the plot beyond acknowledging it as bad, or have any consequences for their earlier behaviours.

Reviews by M Johnson

Assembly George Square Studios

The Maids

Zoo Southside



An Interrogation

theSpace @ Niddry St

And Then The Rodeo Burned Down

Zoo Southside

Report to an Academy

Pleasance Courtyard

Lucy and Friends


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Two best friends. One drinking problem. And a very big war.

Clare Lizzimore directs Charly Clive and Ellen Robertson in a brand new, updated and reworked version of Mike Bartlett’s touching, funny and provocative play.

This is a rehearsed reading, filmed at the Old Fire Station and edited by Mike Clark-Hall (The Crown, Sherlock).

Most Popular See More

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets