It must be a rarity to see two new plays by the same writer within the space of 10 days. Mike Bartlett has been busy.
An Intervention is a co-production with Watford Palace Theatre and Paines Plough and sees Bartlett return to more simple story-telling of his Cock (tee hee, cannot resist). Rachael Stirling and John Hollingworth play best friends A and B whose friendship is tested to breaking point.
A is a passionate anti-war protester and B thinks intervention is better in the long run. But the argument that sparks a break down of their friendship is only a mask for what is really going on. A likes to drink. A lot. She is the life and soul of the party, always full of energy, witty and fun and that is her life. B, however, sees a different future for himself. He's got a new girlfriend (whom A hates) who has opened the door to a different lifestyle.
Bartlett puts friendship under a magnifying glass and examines what it means. When is it right to intervene, when should you stay quiet and at what point do you throw in the towel?
The 90 minute run time packs a witty and poignant punch. From the opening scene where A is encouraging B to dance to final fade out which leaves the friendship realistically and symbolically in place that is both precarious and solid.
Such a joy to see Rachael Stirling in a contemporary piece and extra plaudits to John Hollingworth for managing to keep a straight face. I'm sure this will transfer into London. I hope it transfers into London because I'd like to see it again.
Other Mike Bartlett plays I've seen:
Well Mike Bartlett is the obvious one (Cock) but John Hollingworth was also in The Hour.