Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Review: The House That Will Not Stand at the Tricycle Theatre

The House That Will Not Stand
Tricycle Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 17th October 2014

The House That Will Not Stand is quite a play! Set in New Orleans in 1836, at the centre of the piece is Beatrice – our matriarch. Portrayed sensationally by Martina Laird, Beatrice's finds herself in a somewhat tricky situation when the father of her daughters (a rich white man) passes away under mysterious circumstances.

Whilst outside society is changing, inside Beatrice's world begins to fall apart. Her daughters rebel whilst her slave, Makeda, desires freedom. 

I must admit I struggled to sink my teeth into Marcus Gardley's play during the first act. There are some wonderful moments and fantastic characters, but I wasn't fully convinced. However, all that completely changed during the second half when everything really begins to crumble.

Whilst Laird's performance is striking and powerful, she is not the only star of the show; Tanya Moodie delivers yet another knock out performance, this time as a slave with fire in her belly and dreams she wishes to achieve.

Moodie is perhaps one of the strongest stage actors working in British theatre. I was blown away by her performances in Fences and Intimate Apparel, and here she excels in an ensemble piece. Her final scene in the second act is truly moving.

Indhu Rubasingham's production pays attention to detail. The female ensemble have electrifying chemistry and all deliver strong performances. The House That Will Not Stand may be a terrific comedy, but there is also a point to be made. I may not have been convinced at first, but this terrific production most certainly won me over.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

The House That Will Not Stand runs at the Tricycle Theatre until Saturday 22nd November 2014.
Please visit www.tricycle.co.uk for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Mark Douet

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