Second outing to see Our Private Life at the Royal Court but this time with a post show Q&A. Since seeing it the first time I've read the play text and the thing that stands out most is just how dark and disturbing the Father's final speech is.
What I didn't realise until director Lyndsey Turner mentioned it after the show, was that it's impact is elevated by one subtle difference in the father's character.
Rozo gives all the other characters excuses. It is a circle of blame, each blaming the other for their circumstances and predicaments except for the Father, he never blames anyone which makes his epilogue confessional so startlingly stark and disturbing.
Colombian Rozo submitted the play on spec and work-shopped it with the Royal Court's writers programme but prior to work on the production starting Turner travelled to Colombia so as to better understand the culture of where the story came from.
It certainly explains some of the deeply homophobic language used throughout and crucially the way they talk about Carlos sexuality as if it were a condition.
The cast through Rozo also discovered an emerging reliance on psychiatry to 'cure' in Colombia. You talk about it to the psychiatrist and he makes it all better; it is replacing the Roman Catholic confessional. It certainly explains the continual stream of characters on the psychiatrist's couch and how he ultimately benefits.
Turner took 'hundreds' of pictures on her trip which influenced the set right down to the colour scheme although she admits that certain things have been anglicised. What I wanted to ask was why Clare Cathcart's character Tania uses her native Northern Irish accent while Colin Morgan and Eugene O'Hare both hide theirs under English accents. It's the first time I've raised my hand at a Q&A but I didn't get chosen so I still don't know the answer.
And so what of Mr Morgan? Well he wasn't there on the panel - the only cast who made it were Adrian Schiller, Joshua Williams and Ishia Bennison. No doubt he decided to take advantage of the fact that most of the audience were staying for the Q&A and slip out of the theatre untroubled by autograph hunters and Merlin fans. I can understand that but I am still a little disappointed as I'd have liked to have asked him what it was that attracted to the role of bipolar compulsive fantasist...
The reviews start to arrive after I wrote mine and on UpTheWestEnd.com the play has an average score of 3.4/5.
Production pictures by Johan Persson