Theatre Critic and Journalist

Review: Throats, Pleasance Theatre

Review: Throats, Pleasance Theatre

Published in Time Out, 28.02.2011

A sometime collaborator with Beckett, Heiner Müller and Phillip Glass, Gerald Thomas gave up on theatre in 2009. ‘I do not believe,’ he wrote at the time, ‘that our times reflect theatre as a whole (or vice versa).’ On the evidence of this vitriolic return, which does little more than outline his gripes, it’s tempting to suggest that theatre gave up on Gerald Thomas.

Tiresome and time-warped, bold but boorish, ‘Throats’ feels like sub-par Howard Barker. It shows a host of symbolic figures, among them a black orthodox Jew, a Shoreditch dandy and a severed head, banqueting beneath the rusted carcass of the Twin Towers. On Jan-Eric Skevik’s scab-like set (a rare positive), it’s The Last Supper painted by Banksy.

Before long, playful surrealism is suffocated by generic, scattergun rage. Legitimate targets – celebrity, vanity, egotism, ideological vacuity – are splurged together to form an ineffectual litany of grievances.

When it comes to railing, however, a little specificity goes a long way. Thomas is so intent on rebuking ‘the emerging generation’, that he shouts himself hoarse, spouting nonsense like, ‘Respectability and absurdity are first cousins secretly fucking each other. While status films it. Wanking. Over the tits of culture.’ Quite.

Photograph: Alistair Muir

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