Winner of the Olivier Award for Best New Play and The Evening Standard Best Play of the Year Joe Penhall’s blue/orange is appearing at York Theatre Royal. This stinging satire touches on race, mental illness and 21st century British life.
We sent a handful of reviewers along to tonight’s show armed with smartphones to commentate in short 140 word bursts on Twitter. Before we hand the stage over to them, a bit of background: In a London psychiatric hospital, an enigmatic patient claims to be the illegitimate son of an exiled African dictator. As the drama unfolds, his story becomes unnervingly plausible. blue/orange is an incendiary tale of race, madness and power struggle at the heart of a failing NHS.
The production is a three-hander with actors Michael Beckley as psychiatrist ‘Robert’, Jonathan Race as trainee doctor ‘Bruce’ and Lekan Lawal taking the part of ‘Christopher’, the patient.
So what did our reviewers think of the play…?
Enjoying a pre show drink before #blueorange. Looking forward to it...heard good things— Dan Kettlewell (@DanKettIsWell) April 30, 2012
Deeply excited about seeing 'an incendiary tale of race, madness, & a Darwinian power struggle at the heart of a failing nhs'. #blueorange— Sophie Coulombeau (@WritingMyRites) April 30, 2012
#blueorange great so far. Provoking searching questions - worse to abandon patient to ethnic stereotype or impose western norms?— Sophie Coulombeau (@WritingMyRites) April 30, 2012
#blueorange @ York Theatre Royal - halfway through, excellent so far!— Matthew Badham (@maljambon) April 30, 2012
#blueorange interval. Well-crafted script . Performers haven't missed a beat. Really enjoying this.— Nik Morris (@NIKJACEK) April 30, 2012
It must be so hard to make decisions about other people's mental health. #blueorange— Luweasel (@Luweasel) April 30, 2012
#blueorange as a civil servant myself, the parallels are uncanny.— Dan Kettlewell (@DanKettIsWell) April 30, 2012
#blueorange. Intense and true to life, raises interesting questions about unwitting racism and the relationship between state and citizen— Dan Kettlewell (@DanKettIsWell) April 30, 2012
#blueorange has really made me think. I can see so much of Christopher in myself.— Luweasel (@Luweasel) April 30, 2012
Issues heavy, but more about people and how they percieve the world! #blueorange is not an easy night at the theatre, but a very good one!— FixatedOn (@FixatedOn) April 30, 2012
To be thought provoking. &challenging while still entertaining &funny is quite a feat #blueorange— Jane Duke (@stoneflowerjane) April 30, 2012
#blueorange was really good. well acted, riveting theatre.— Paul Richardson (@Parashoots) April 30, 2012
Michael beckley as Robert stealing the show so far - twitching, gurning bundle of unfulfilled ambition and sinister weariness #blueorange— Sophie Coulombeau (@WritingMyRites) April 30, 2012
Michael Beckley reminding me of David Bowie with an incredible English accent #blueorange— Luweasel (@Luweasel) April 30, 2012
#blueorange 3 great performances, esp the sheer physicality needed for 'Christopher'. Bravo.— FixatedOn (@FixatedOn) April 30, 2012
#blueorange Brilliant script, great performances. Comedy is spot on, the tension grips you. You'll be glad you didn't miss this one.— Nik Morris (@NIKJACEK) April 30, 2012