A couple is having a ‘conversation’ about possibly, maybe having a baby. He seems sure but she is hesitant. There’s problems with bringing a child into this world and the impact even a single human being will have on the environment. And issues about the changes it will wrought upon their lives. There’s many arguments against and not so many for.
The couple ‘discuss’ the possibility a lot before actually trying to have a child. I rather liked the argument that anyone could have a baby no matter how smart or stupid they are and, in fact, the smart people wouldn’t while the stupid know no better.
The couple is Claire Foy and Matt Smith in the play, Lungs, at the Old Vic at the moment and we saw it tonight.
There’s not a lot to criticise in this play. In fact, ignoring the continued use of microphones which always irritates me, my only real issue was with the title. I think Lungs is a weak title. It’s almost as if the writer had an excellent idea but then was lost for a title and just grabbed at a single word. Maybe it was longer but was reduced to a single word. I think it’s lazy. A better title would have been Seeds of Change or Trees for Edwin…or Hannah.
Anyway, title aside, the play was marvellous. Incredibly funny and poignant, up to date and topical. The performances were fantastic. Both Foy and Smith were utterly believable in dialogue that was flowing for a while and then all over the place. Particularly Foy who I thought was amazing.
Most innovative was the audience layout. The auditorium had been changed about so that there was audience on four sides. We were up the back of the stage while there were people on both sides (in the wings) as well. It gave a more instant, intimate feeling and it was used well. When we sat down I was concerned that they would be tested with an ‘in the round’ performance but they handled it perfectly.
As well as being very well acted (ignoring the lack of vocal projection) it was a delight to watch a two gender, two-hander where the stronger character was the female. This was a complete joy.
Something that could have been an issue was the fact that they have recently (and superbly) played Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in The Crown but of these characters there was nothing. This was a true performance by professionals who know how to act different characters and become different people. (Pity about their vocal training.)
Oh, and today was Brexit Day and we didn’t…again. The promised riots in the streets didn’t happen and Boris J0hnson didn’t die in a ditch. As usual, England just carried on with the every day while John Bercow finished his tenure as Speaker of the House. A bittersweet day indeed.