Better Together by David Weir
directed by Kate Bannister
a spellbinding 90 minutes of drama
**** South London Press
playwright David Weir has a hit on his hands… this is a brilliantly written play with a tight, 90-minute long script and great performances from the four-strong cast.
Better Together showcases some of the best new writing with a topicality that’s uncanny…
Better Together is a satisfying play – as an exploration of families, ambition and the state of Britain today. Much of this boils down to the casting (which is spot on) and direction, where nothing feels false.
The fact that the play revolves around a female-centric family and what each woman chooses to be in 2016 provides plenty of grit in the play, as everything from gender roles to national sovereignty is up for renegotiation.
British Theatre Guide
With striking economy, Weir evokes the minutiae of daily life both within the community and within the family home from the pavement gossip to the spitefully snide remarks siblings make to, and about, one another. In this fine piece of writing, the politics are understated, the characterisations and positions of both parents and both daughters are balanced and heartfelt.
Weir approaches the tension between loving someone and holding on to your principles non–judgmentally whilst at the same time reflecting the complexities of family dynamics with the unsettling clarity of a well–lit mirror. No wonder I felt the pain and confusion of each one of them as their love for each other was forced to recalibrate by turning events.
The Jack’s artistic director, Kate Bannister, has done a wonderful job pacing this piece which is so liberally peppered by episodes of family turbulence, making each one fresh but at the same time cumulatively building the tension.
The noteworthy set (design by Moi Tran) is treated as their home by the uniformly strong cast of Rikki Chamberlain as Adam, Kate Russell–Smith as Margaret, Rosalind McAndrew as Shona and Eleanor Morton as Arlene. The chemistry between the four is very natural, their familial gently humorous joshing believable. They do Weir’s text more than proud… Once again the bar has been raised at The Jack.
UK Theatre Network
David Weir’s intelligent and witty play could not be more timely…
Sensitively directed by Kate Bannister, the exceptional cast portray Weir’s rich characters with conviction and humour. Ensemble work at its best.
Every cast member plays a blinder… well worth the admission for the quality of the argument alone.
The Play’s the Thing
some of the best naturalism on the fringe… the story’s events are exquisite in their unravelling. It’s a sparky, punchy story that leaves a long lasting glow.
Gay Star News
an intelligent production that continues Brockley Jack’s reputation for showcasing thought-provoking and exciting theatre.
A Younger Theatre
impassioned and dignified… really rather superb
Write Now 7 Shorts: Fight or Flight?
**** Female Arts
While London is blessed with an abundance of mainstream theatres and fringe theatre venues, there are arguably only a few venues in London that in conjunction with hosting plays and scratch nights, have a fully developed programme for the nurturing of playwrights’ work – and the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre is one of them.
Its annual Write Now Festival is in its seventh year and on Saturday 7th May, hosted a day of short plays under the theme of Fight Or Flight. In keeping with previous years’ entrants, the responses were of an exceptional high standard, with equally diverse subject matter… an unqualified success
British Theatre Guide
The Jack Studio Theatre has now been flying the flag for new theatre writing in South East London for seven years with its annual Write Now festival which has become one of the look forward to events of my theatre going year.
Like a tray of hors d’oeuvres, these seven plays covering some 90 minutes whet the appetite for what is to come, yet also leave their own mark.