Review: A Very Very Very Dark Matter, Bridge Theatre - does Martin McDonagh's new play measure up?
A Very Very Very Dark Matter is a fairytale of human ugliness and evil but it is also a toy that isn't working properly.
Martin McDonagh's new play is a (very) dark fairytale with colonial undertones.
Who else's imagination could put Hans Christian Anderson (Jim Broadbent), a one-legged black pigmy woman called Marjory (Johnetta Eula’Mae Ackles) and two bloody, time-travelling Belgian twins in the same story?
The question is whether it works.
McDonagh's Anderson is the antithesis of what you'd expect the writer of fairy-tales to be like but there may be a very good explanation for that.
He is self-centred, vain and politically incorrect, to put it mildly, and has a dark secret in the form of Marjory, whom he keeps locked up in a glass-sided box in his puppet-strewn attic.
Marjory is from the Congo, clever, sharp and capable, having survived the massacre of her people engineered by Belgian King Leopold II.
But she has more problems to deal with than merely being a prisoner, she is also a person of interest for the murderous twins.
Awkward laughter and guilty giggles
The dialogue is liberally sprinkled with swear words as well as the sort of lines that have you laughing awkwardly - or guiltily giggling as I did a couple of times.
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