Theatre Critic and Journalist

Review: This Story of Yours, Old Red Lion

Review: This Story of Yours, Old Red Lion

Published in Time Out, 24.05.2010

Newly-formed barefaced productions exists, in part, to revive forgotten classics. For all the skill, verve and intelligence evidenced by their full-length debut, however, they have forgotten to ask why.

First produced in 1968, John Hopkins’ This Story of Yours is a well-crafted examination of police brutality. In it, an old-fashioned copper comes a cropper after beating a suspected paedophile to death. However, after programmes like Life on Mars, that scenario has become almost family-friendly. Certainly, Hopkins’ play lacks the pointed resonance of Sus (recently revived by the Young Vic) and his connection of institutionalised and domestic violence seems both hackneyed and tame by modern standards.

Yet though this may be a museum piece, you’ll struggle to find many better productions of this jaded text and London’s fringe rarely manages so much with so little. Anthony Biggs directs with nuanced dexterity, stringing smart yet subtle connections throughout. Thanks to Cherry Truluck’s (underused) Escheresque set and Laurence J. Horstman’s audio, Biggs musters a head-swirling mix of tinnitus and nausea.

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