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Dates in September
|Thu 6 Sep 2001||12:00am||Jerwood Theatre Downstairs|
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(L TO R) (1) Lyndsey Marshal, Wil Johnson, Craig Heaney; (2) Lyndsey Marshal, Simon Trinder; (3) (2) Lyndsey Marshal, Rachel Brogan
Direction: Dominic Cooke, Design: Robert Innes Hopkins, Lighting: Peter Mumford, Sound: Gareth Fry, Composer: Gary Yershon
Cast: Rachel Brogan, Craig Heaney, Wil Johnson, Lyndsey Marshal, Eileen O’Brien, Simon Trinder
“Leo Butler’s remarkable first full-length play has the acutely observed, unapologetic realism of a social documentary. Set in the flat inhabited by unemployed 17-year-old Lucy and emphasised by director Dominic Cooke’s brutal televisual production, its episodic structure reads like blueprint snapshots of teenage life on sink estates in Sheffield. Lucy beautifully played by Lyndsey Marshall as a not entirely sympathetic mix of vicious brattishness and childlike vulnerability is tangled up in grubby relationships with three different men, one of whom is the father of her unborn child.”
Dark new stars are born
“Sex, drugs, rock and dole are the corner stones of Leo Butler’s witty, sinister and finally depressing drama. The sex comes in the form of the random pregnancy of the teenage heroine, Lucy, who we meet bunked up in a seamy Sheffield pit of a home. The drugs come in the form of crack cocaine smoked out of buckled beer cans. The rock comes in the form of erroneous riffs from Bob Marley and the dole comes in the form of giro cheques, which pay for Lucy’s dismal trip into a stubbornly unrecognised personal hell.. It was a gamble putting 27-year-old Leo Butler’s second play on the main stage, his previous work, Made of Stone, premiering at last year’s Young Writers’ Festival. But it’s a gamble that pays off. Butler boldly creates a psychologically complex female lead, surrounding her with unjudged dead-beats, each distinctively vocalising caustic Sheffield Vernacular. He also looks to be a master of stage craft, subtly manipulating his audience and characters with dramatic reversals, before arriving at an ending that is inevitable, surprising and loaded with pity and fear.
“Dominic Cooke also looks more and more like a director to conjure with, in a a production that charts the play’s dispiriting progress with a paradoxical blend of joy and dread.”
“Lucy is tough, manipulative and vulnerable as her grip on reality she’d rather watch telly or play board games than take any responsibility for her life grows shakier and her actions more alienating. This self-confessed “psycho bird” is vividly brought to life by Lyndsey Marshal, who can be both nave and knowing. It’s a gripping, hard-edged, heartrending performance.
“Dominic Cooke’s taut direction ensures strong performance all round, including Rachel Brogan as the kid sister almost buckling under the strain when landed with Lucy’s second child, and Eileen O’Brien as their gran whose exasperation at Lucy’s lifestyle leads to a brutal clash… an excellent production”
“…new playwriting has perked up with Leo Butler’s Redundant.”
Independent on Sunday