About Parlour Song

Friday 27th March 2009

Amanda Drew and Andrew Lincoln in Parlour Song. Photo: Tristram Kenton
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What are the elements of theatrical pleasure? As in most fiction, they are made up of four things: the world created by the author, its characters, the plot and, finally, what could be described as the pleasures of genre. Watching Jez Butterworth’s latest, Parlour Song, at the Almeida, it’s the world of the play, a surreal and nightmarish suburbia, that comes across most strongly, and the games that he plays with genre expectations and the audience’s desire for a clear plot. As for his characters, this time they were excruciatingly normal: ordinary people in an ordinary situation but lit by the lurid light of Butterworth’s uniquely weird imagination.

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