*Colombian beats and the hottest live bands in the Royal Court Cafe Bar for two nights...… Read more
When a rumour spreads like wildfire through a Colombian village, a respectable family start to wither in the heat. As long- buried secrets begin to surface, their efforts to discern truth from slander become fused with a desire for justice.
A new black comedy of twisted morality set in modern Colombia.
Pedro Miguel Rozo is a playwright, director and telenovela writer from Bogotá, Colombia. He first worked with the Royal Court in Bogotá in 2004 and developed this play during the 2009 Royal Court International Residency in London.
Lyndsey Turner’s work at the Royal Court includes Laura Wade’s Posh, Mike Bartlett’s Contractions, Molly Davies’ A Miracle and Chronic and Ignition. She has also worked at the Royal Court as Trainee Associate Director and International Associate. Her other credits include My Romantic History at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Alice at Sheffield Theatres, Nocturnal at the Gate Theatre, The Lesson at the Arcola, Still Breathing, Hymn and What’s Their Life Got? at Theatre 503 and The Grace of Mary Traverse at LAMDA.
Age guidance 14+
Running time 90mins, no interval
Our Private Life is presented as part of the International Playwrights Season: A Genesis Foundation Project
£10 Monday tickets can be booked in advance by Royal Court Friends and Supporters. Annual membership starts from £25 and can be booked with the Box Office on 020 7565 5000. 50% of the tickets for each performance will be released for public booking online at 9am on the day of the show.
Select a Date
Dates in February
|Fri 11 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Concessions Available, Preview||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 12 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Concessions Available, Preview||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Mon 14 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Concessions Available, Preview||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Tue 15 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Concessions Available, Preview||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Wed 16 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Concessions Available, Preview||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Thu 17 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Concessions Available, Preview||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Fri 18 Feb 2011||7:00pm||Press Night||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 19 Feb 2011||3:00pm||Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 19 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Mon 21 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Tue 22 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Post-Show Talk||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Wed 23 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Thu 24 Feb 2011||3:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Thu 24 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Fri 25 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 26 Feb 2011||3:00pm||Concessions Available, Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 26 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Mon 28 Feb 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
Dates in March
|Tue 1 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Wed 2 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Thu 3 Mar 2011||3:00pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Thu 3 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Fri 4 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 5 Mar 2011||3:00pm||Concessions Available, Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 5 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Mon 7 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Tue 8 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Wed 9 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Captioned Performance||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Thu 10 Mar 2011||3:00pm||Concessions Available||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Thu 10 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Mid-Week Matinee||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Fri 11 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 12 Mar 2011||3:00pm||Concessions Available, Saturday Matinees||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
|Sat 12 Mar 2011||7:45pm||Jerwood Theatre Upstairs|
Sold out Performances
£10 Monday tickets can be booked in advance by Royal Court Friends and Supporters. Annual membership starts from £25 and can be booked with the Box Office on 020 7565 5000. 50% of the tickets for each £10 Monday performance will be released for public booking online at 9am on the day of the show.
Concessions £15 (avail. in advance until 19 Feb 2011 incl. and all mats. For all other perfs, avail. on a standby basis on the day)
School and HE Groups of 8+ £10 (avail. Tue–Fri and mats)
Access £12 (plus a companion at the same rate)
4 stars Paul Taylor, The Independent, Wednesday 2 March 2011
One of the hottest tickets in Theatreland at the moment is The Children’s Hour with Keira Knightley, but Our Private Life, by Colombian author Pedro Miguel Rozo, knocks spots off Lillian Hellman’s 1934 analysis of the destructive effects of false rumour. It has the wonderfully frisky, darkly droll elan of an early Almodóvar movie and shows how scandal can flush out discomfiting underlying truths.
The play has all the hallmarks of the Royal Court’s excellent International Department. With both Simon Scardifield’s wittily knowing translation and Lyndsey Turner’s immaculately acted production, you feel that you are being taken out into valuably unfamiliar cultural territory and, at the same time, invited deeper into your own unacknowledged experience.
The play homes in on village life in a Colombia uneasily balanced between its terrorist past and a future of garish new shopping centres. Anthony O’Donnell’s seedily subdued Father finds himself accused of fiddling with the neglected male child of a female farm-hand. For his compulsive-fantasist gay son (brilliant Colin Morgan), this constitutes proof that there must have been abuse in his own childhood. Cashing in on the lucrative “doubt” that is flooding Colombia as it “leaves the dark of the parochial church behind” is Adrian Schiller’s dodgy shrink who promotes paranoia because he has his sights set on a Grand Cherokee jeep.
Ishia Bennison is hilarious as the mother who struggles to paper over the family crevasses with bright prattle. The cast excel at conveying private asides that are somehow porous to the other characters. The final scene, in which we learn the devastating way in which there is a degree of truth in these lies, is one of the most breathtaking sequences on the current London stage. 4 stars Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph, Tuesday 22 February 2011
A frisky, often ferociously funny comedy is one promising work within the Royal Court’s International Playwrights Festival.
The Court is flying the flag for our need to look overseas – all too rarely done in our theatre.
Just as the Arab protests have surprised many with their secular accent, one of the most intriguing aspects of Our Private Life , a frisky, often ferociously funny comedy by the Colombian Pedro Miguel Rozo, is how oddly recognisable it seems. It deals not with drug turf-wars or political violence but middle-class family dysfunction, as exacerbated by modern consumerism and moral relativism – with the added but hardly ground-breaking twist of a ruinous accusation of paedophilia.
Anthony O’Donnell’s seedily forlorn “Father” stands accused by locals of fiddling with a poor, neglected kid who lives near his farm. The rumour is seized on with perturbing glee by his depressive, unhappily homosexual younger son Carlos – and eventually by the latter’s successful but scarcely more fulfilled or valued brother Sergio.
Here at last is the “proof” that there were all kinds of abusive goings-on in their childhood. What with the brothers’ grievances, lent dubious confirmation by a cash-hungry psychiatrist, together with the grasping behaviour of the child-in-question’s mother as well as the lacklustre, if superficially loyal, support of the accused’s wife, it looks as if the farmer is more sinned against than sinning – but Rozo keeps you guessing as to whether he’s victim or perpetrator.
Even if you tire of the “is he or isn’t he?” conundrum, the writing itself – exhibited in a smart, snappily colloquial translation from Simon Scardifield – has verve enough to keep you engrossed. Rozo has a sharp eye for the self-dramatising, self-serving aspects of family life and makes the entertaining most of this by presenting the characters’ audience-asides as audible to those around them, compounding a sense of abundant mental ill-health in an artificial world saturated with TV soap clichés.
There’s terrific acting across the board, especially from Colin Morgan, the winsome, waifish star of the TV series Merlin, who plays the horribly confused Carlos, and from Ishia Bennison as his scatty, painfully showy mother. Lizzie Clachan’s compact design displays her customary élan
Michael Billington, The Guardian, Tuesday 22 February 2011
One of the virtues of the Royal Court’s International Playwrights Season is that it brings us news from abroad. And this intriguing 90-minute play by Pedro Miguel Rozo, set in a Colombian village on the verge of becoming a town, uses family in-fighting to mirror the country’s long history of internal wafare.
A father finds himself under attack on two fronts. His son Carlos, a compulsive fantasist, believes he was abused as a child. Meanwhile Tania, the turfed-out tenant of the father’s one-hectare farm, claims that her son was also assaulted by the supposedly paedophile patriarch. Who is lying and who is telling the truth? Rozo leaves the question open until the final scene. His prime concern, you feel, is with Colombia’s own internal divisions: plagued by its terrorist past but also yearning for a new world of shiny shopping centres.
Lyndsey Turner’s brisk, imaginative production is also very well acted by Anthony O’Donnell as the accused father, Colin Morgan as his edgily hysterical son and Adrian Schiller as an acquisitive shrink dreaming of translating his clients’ misfortunes into the purchase of a Grand Cherokee jeep. You certainly come out with a heightened awareness of a country in the throes of traumatic transition.
Ian Shuttleworth, The Financial Times, Tuesday 22 February 2011
Nuestras vidas privadas premièred in Pedro Miguel Rozo’s native Colombia in 2009, where it won an important playwriting competition. It is, in Simon Scardifield’s eminently playable English translation, both witty and intelligent. Rozo plays amusing games with the convention of the aside, for instance, resulting in characters eavesdropping on one another’s “thoughts”; overall, too, he is very canny at leavening serious subject matter with black comedy but without trivialising it. His subject is child sexual abuse.
Don José, it is rumoured around the small town, tried to interfere with his former farm employee’s 12-year-old son. His own sons, now adults, seem, under hypnosis by a psychiatrist, to recover memories that they too were assaulted.
Rozo’s play is principally about the ramifications within the family. Elder son Sergio (adopted or illegitimate, we don’t know, but “he’s not your dad”) secretly funds a lawyer to prosecute young Joaquín’s case. Younger son Carlos’s psychological imbalances are not helped, to say the least. (Almost the first words to him from his mother onstage are: “You mustn’t stop taking the lithium.”) Their mother ostentatiously supports her husband even through her own uncertainties. Each has their own issues, mainly sexual, which influence their attitudes towards the case. In comparison, the resentfulness of Joaquín’s mother and the urbane manipulations of the shrink are simple – they scent money.
Siobhan Murphy, The Metro, Tuesday 22 February 2011
Colombian playwright Pedro Miguel Rozo takes a robust look at tough issues in this black comedy. Robust enough, in fact, to leave the opening night audience largely stunned, with a man behind me muttering: ‘Sweet Jesus.’
Wryly using the melodramatic devices of a Latin American telenova, Rozo introduces a dysfunctional family living in a rapidly urbanising Colombian village. The characters include a garish, feisty mother (Ishia Bennison), her macho, money-orientated elder son, Sergio (Eugene O’Hare), and her gay, ‘bipolar compulsive fantasist’ younger son, Carlos (a brilliant Colin Morgan).
When rumours start that their father (Anthony O’Donnell) ‘fiddled’ with the son of a tenant, their respectability soon peels away: turning to the avaricious local psychiatrist (Adrian Schiller) causes even more havoc.
Rozo pulls no punches with his child abuse storyline. His attack on the price people are willing to pay to get on in the world is starkly delineated in Lyndsey Turner’s fast-paced, farce-tinged production and O’Donnell’s taciturn portrayal makes the ending all the more chilling. It also has excellent moments of pitch-black humour, many initiated by the device of characters’ ‘thoughts’ and ‘speech’ being audible to both the audience and the other characters, which is effectively disorientating.
Fri 11 Feb, 7:45pm Sat 12 Feb, 7:45pm Mon 14 Feb, 7:45pm Tue 15 Feb, 7:45pm Wed 16 Feb, 7:45pm Thu 17 Feb, 7:45pm Sat 19 Feb, 7:45pm Sat 26 Feb, 3:00pm Sat 5 Mar, 3:00pm Thu 10 Mar, 3:00pm Sat 12 Mar, 3:00pm
Fri 11 Feb, 7:45pm Sat 12 Feb, 7:45pm Mon 14 Feb, 7:45pm Tue 15 Feb, 7:45pm Wed 16 Feb, 7:45pm Thu 17 Feb, 7:45pm
Fri 18 Feb, 7:00pm
Sat 19 Feb, 3:00pm Sat 26 Feb, 3:00pm Sat 5 Mar, 3:00pm Sat 12 Mar, 3:00pm
Tue 22 Feb, 7:45pm
Wed 9 Mar, 7:45pm
Thu 10 Mar, 7:45pm