As You Like It is one of Shakespeare’s most crazy comedies and one of his most tedious plots.
Almost exactly 100 years ago on April 13, in Amritsar, the British Indian Army fired into a crowd of unarmed Punjabis, killing and harming hundreds. Director Phil Wilmott marks this appalling example of man’s inhumanity to man by transporting Othello from Venice and Cyprus to the India of the British Raj.
Of all the Miller revivals currently doing the capital’s round, ‘The American Clock’ is not the softest option for any director, actor or audience to take on. Part social documentary, part human drama, part political commentary, it can feel at times like it has bitten off more vision and message than it can theatrically deliver.
It is rare to see productions of Brecht in London today. It is even rarer to see them performed in Russian.This jewel from Moscow came only briefly to London but it showed audiences that there is an antidote to endless naturalism.
One of the strengths of this piece of thoughtful social melodrama is that, by the end, any credibility stretched by the child-mob scenario is less important than the way we are moved to analyse our own response to one manifestation of historic institutionalised British child abuse.