The play running at Hampstead Theatre, Wild by Mike Bartlett [London: Nick Hern Books, 2016], directed by James Macdonald and designed by Miriam Beuther, deserves to go far. Ably and intelligently performed by Caoilfhionn Dunne, Jack Farthing and John Mackay, Wild presents us with that moment of post-cognitive dissonance in a whistleblower’s life. That moment when, just possibly if he wasn’t such a man of principle, he might just wish the deed undone. But it’s too late. Much too late. It was much too late the instant, that nanosecond after the irrevocable click of the mouse. And in the case of Andrew, whose story and appearance unavoidably reminds one of Edward Snowden, he has betrayed the United States. They do not do forgiveness. They might even (deniably of course) assassinate Andrew. Unless he surrenders. That would mean, at best, the rest of his natural life in isolation in a maximum security prison; pour encourager les autres. Right now, after secret flights and a press conference somewhere in Hong Kong, he appears, at the opening of the play, to be in a nondescript hotel room, presumed to be in Moscow. But one can take nothing on trust.
Having just come from seeing The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui at the Chichester Minerva Theatre and been bowled over, I am very tempted to go and see SplitMoon's production of a young Brecht's play, In the Jungle of the Cities which will be playing at the Arcola Theatre from today (18 September) directed by Peter Sturm.
Over the year, I have been on a journey, tracing another man’s footsteps. I finished the journey this morning. Now I have three books on my shelf, each a source of pleasure and satisfaction such that I already plan to retrace my steps from the beginning. I have been walking alongside the First World War poet and one of that destructive conflict’s victims: Edward Thomas. And the reference to walking is deliberate. Thomas walked as much as Wordsworth and worked demotic language into his verse just as effectively.