Tuesday, 12 May 2009

England People Very Nice

CE017614_429longNational Theatre logoLast week, I went with a close friend of mine to watch the critically acclaimed production England People Very Nice at the National Theatre.

The play, written by award-winning dramatist Richard Bean, is a three hour comedy about immigration over the centuries in East London, namely Bethnal Green.

To be honest, it took me a while to get into it, but after about 40 minutes I unknowingly found myself goggle eyed and chortling every now and again. It almost felt like a fun history lesson.

Despite some critics dubbing the play racist and offensive, I thought it was very well structured, and had the right balance of reality and stereotypes. After all, stereotypes have some truth in them. I suppose where things go wrong is when people become prejudice due to their own ignorance and generalisation of certain groups in society.

On our way out, my friend and I were amused when we heard a posh sounding lady say in a frustrated manner: "I didn't quite get the satire". Rolling my eyes, I thought: "You wouldn't, would you?" I live in East London-only 10 minutes away from Bethnal Green, in fact- so could appreciate and understand the satire for what it was.

I personally enjoyed the play and would recommend it as a lovely evening out. It's best to go and see it for yourself and make up your own mind.  You can go to the National Theatre website to buy ticke ts.

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(Photographs: Tristram Kenton; Johan Persson; Johan Persson)

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