Ends 12th August 2017.
Captioned performance: 31st July 2017 at 7.30pm
Audio Described performance: 29th July 2017 at 2.30pm (touch tour
The popular charity "Kids Company" collapsed, and questions were asked
in Parliament... the evidence of founder Camila Batmanghelidjh and
administrator Alan Yentob form this musical.
Music by Tom Deering, adaptation from evidence transcript and book by
Hadley Fraser and Josie Rourke.
WHEN A PRODUCTION IS
Each Monday, a small number of tickets in each price band are released ONLINE
ONLY for performances two weeks later. These are limited to TWO per production.
The Donmar Warehouse also hold 20 STANDING
In the rear circle are available at £10 each at all
performances EXCEPT on Press Night. Standing places are normally only
sold only to personal callers at the theatre box office from 10am, maximum two
tickets per person. Occasionally if there is no demand, they may sell to
telephone callers later in the day - but that is generally unlikely and
visiting the theatre is far safer feels the monkey.
It's also always worth checking the
www.donmarwarehouse.com website regularly, as seats seem to creep
back onto it regularly - even during a "sold out" run...
(Seen at the afternoon performance on 15th July 2017).
Not the most obvious choice for musicalisation, the notes from the Public
Administration and Constitutional Affairs committee. A single day's hearing of
evidence from two ex-charity bosses, plus some anonymous testimony added for
flavour. Luckily, it not only works, but provides a compelling 80 or so minutes
Robert Jones provides a sleek committee room, with a couple of hidden
amusements, and Adam Penford (with help of movement director Naomi Said) finds
animation in what could otherwise be a very static work. This is where Tom
Deering's music and Hadley Fraser and Josie Rourke's book come in. The committee
don't exactly "burst into song," but certainly form "choirs of investigation" as
required, leaving their seats occasionally to loom over the pit in which Alan
Yentob (Omar Ebrahim) and Camila Batmanghelidjh (Sandra Marvin) are sat - and
occasionally emerge and emote from, too.
The impersonations are remarkable, and both have fine voices. Equally,
Alexander Hanson, Rebecca Lock, Robert Hands, Anthony O'Donnell and Rosemary
Ashe capture the quirky styles of Bernard Jenkins, Cheryl Gillan, David Jones,
Paul Flynn and Kate Hoey as if they had been studying them for years. Ms Lock in
particular deserves special note for stepping into the role at short notice -
and doing so with terrifying brilliance.
Nice work too from Clerk Joanna Kirkland and Committee Assistant David Albury.
Both also play anonymous evidence-givers, as do a couple of the others in the
company. These inserts are what gives the play both shape and balance. For all
the charity went awry, when it worked - as one memorable testimony proves - it
was a unique and powerful resource, and its loss leaves a horrible void that
audience members may well ponder afterwards.
A brave and gripping attempt to bring something of great importance to the
stage. If occasionally forced by the material to be a little static, music
brings it back on track, and the pace rarely flags. Well worth seeing for anyone
interested in how Government works, and wishing to learn just why a seemingly
prestigious institution went so badly wrong.