I don’t know if audience reactions are contagious but it certainly felt like that tonight. This shall teach me to believe 5-star reviews. Seriously, what the hell did I just watch? I feel completely fooled here, and I’m not the only one. Sitting in the dark at the packed out Almeida Theatre, I spent most of my evening with my mouth open gesturing ‘eh?’ That’s exactly how I felt, and at least 20 people around me upstairs in the circle.
The Writer, written by Ella Hickson and directed by Blanche McIntyre, is complicated. I get that. Its complexity, multiple scene changes and lapse between a play-within-a-play terrain can throw off the audience a little, but, even still, somehow it holds your gaze. (Sorry but this isn’t a spoiler-free write-up, so move off if you genuinely want to see this play because what I have to say may encourage you to return your ticket pronto if you’ve got a ticket already.)