Ok, so right from the get-go you’re saying to yourself ‘something’s up’. Maybe it’s the wedding cake and sandwich buffet you pass on the way in? Maybe it’s the Order of Service left on your seat? Or perhaps the blatant ‘THIS PLAY IS A LIE’ printed on the cover of the programme.
A Mirror by Sam Holcroft boasts the vast talents of Jonny Lee Miller (Trainspotting, Elementary, The Crown) Tanya Reynolds (Sex Education) and Micheal Ward ( Top Boy, Blue Story, Lovers Rock). It’s an odd, twisty-turny tale, set sometime in our dystopian future where there is an authoritarian regime of censorship. You are actually not a theatre guest, but a guest at the wedding of Leyla and Joel (Micheal Ward). Very quickly it revealed that the wedding is actually an elaborate cover story – you are actually here to watch an illicit uncensored play!
Directed by Jeremy Herrin, A Mirror, is a play about an ex-army mechanic who becomes a playwright. His initial works have been vetted and have drawn the unwanted attention of the Ministry of Culture who bring him in to warn him of the unsuitable and risqué nature of his subject matter – he literally recalls real conversations and situations of his neighbours. he could end up being punished by being sent to a ‘re-education’ camp. The Minister for Culture Celik (Jonny Lee Miller) recognises his raw talent and takes him under his wing…. To his detriment, as the mechanics prove.
A special mention to Micheal Ward on his theatrical debut. I have to say he works just as well on stage as he does on screen.
I’ve given A Mirror a bit of a Marmite rating because I think you’ll either love it or hate it. It’s an extremely unusual and witty satire that has great comedic moments and will have your inner detective mind ticking over happily throughout. However, there are times when it’s just longed out unnecessarily and practically tripping over its own self-importance. I have phases with Marmite, sometimes I can eat it sometimes I can’t, so I’m literally on the fence, I think I was just piecing together the real story just as it was revealed.
A huge Afridiziak shout out to Jonny Miller whose performance was ablaze with passion and a special mention to Micheal Ward on his theatrical debut. I have to say he works just as well on stage as he does on screen.