Rough Theatre
  • By Isla VT
  • |
  • 7th Aug 2013
  • |
  • ★★★

Creased Productions’ Rough Theatre brings to the stage two of Beckett’s lesser known plays, Rough for Theatre I and II, in simple but effective style. Sounds of running water and birdsong, accompanied by the pitiful playing of an out-of-tune violin opened the scene of Rough for Theatre I on a dingy, nondescript space, littered with debris and rubbish occupied by two disabled creatures: one blind man (A), playing the violin and the other crippled (B), in a wheelchair. Both are garbed in dirty suits with a concentration of dust on their shoulders, as though their world had fallen down about their ears. This first play sees these two characters evaluating their need for each other in a seemingly post-apocalyptic or bleak otherworldly place and was well carried and executed by the two actors with economic yet powerful direction in the small stage place.

A (Joe Caplin) used excellent, animalistic characterisation as he rummaged blindly around the floor, dirty, twitchy and repulsive, eating the rubbish that he found. B (Charlie Mealings) on the other hand played a contrastingly well-spoken old man, efficaciously achieving some well-timed and well-delivered humour, tender and pleading moments and some of cruelty and pity for A. Beckett’s glorious but sometimes challenging dialogue was credibly delivered with variety and intelligence and the relationship between the two built believably. Other than some moments of unrealistic or slightly too farcical facial expressions or reactions, this piece was purely and admirably executed.

Rough for Theatre II involves two bureaucrats (A and B, played by Josh Graham and Sam Masters respectively) carrying out an investigation into the character (C) who stands with his back to the audience for the entire play looking out a window, apparently contemplating suicide. This Rough takes place in a blank space with two desks, two chairs, two lamps and a projection of a window, at which C stands. Initially, the acting in this play seemed less convincing and engaging than that which had come before but as the show progressed the performers seemed to warm up and their portrayals became more interesting and dynamic. There were, once again, some less than credible reactions coupled with some moments of brilliance in comic delivery and characterisation. Unlike the first play, this one dragged a little in places as energy seemed to be lulling at times.

Overall, this performance was a successful and faithful portrayal of two of Beckett’s lesser known works and it’s definitely worth the price of the ticket in order to see these rarely performed plays.

Reviews by Isla VT

Assembly Roxy

Calypso Nights

★★★★★
Just The Tonic at the Caves

Shooting the White Eagle

★★★★
C venues - C nova

We Never Land

★★★★
Greenside @ Nicolson Square

Unprescribed

★★★★
C venues - C nova

The Devil Without

★★★★

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 £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

The Blurb

Rough Theatre leads you by the hand into the world of Beckett's lesser known plays Rough For Theatre 1 and Rough For Theatre 2. Thought-provoking, tantalising and absurdly funny, a show not to be missed!

Most Popular See More

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Hairspray

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Wicked

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets