Five Reasons to See: Belleville

By Harriet Usher, Published December 15, 2017

 

Zach and Abby are living the dream – beautiful, in love and recently moved to Paris on a big, romantic adventure.

But it turns out the Millennial dream of ‘exploring the world’ is not a fix. The thing is, your problems go with you.

As the cracks of Zach and Abby’s lives become apparent, the evening descends into a chasm of mental illness, unexplored grief, unspoken disappointments and casual violence.

Amy Herzog’s play, making its UK debut, is brutal, funny and starkly revealing.

Pro tip: get a programme and read Kate Lyons’ piece about the names given to the millennial generation around the world. Marvellous stuff.

 

Here are our top five reasons to see the show:

The Performances

I really can’t rave enough about the performances.

Imogen Poots and James Norton as Abby and Zack are pitch perfect as the husband and wife who know each other so well they can both finish each other’s sentences and cut each other to the quick with just a few words.

Malachi Kirby is outstanding as the friend/landlord/businessman (you decide) and Faith Alabi as Amina is mesmerising, conveying everything we need to know in just a flicker.

 

The Sound Design

As the tension ramps up, Ben and Max Ringham’s jarring, edgy composition and sound design adds a new level to the proceedings. At one point I found myself hiding behind my coat as the lights came back up – unable to look away but dreading what I might see.

 

The Knife

Choice of munchies after a big night out in Paris? Delicious baguette of course. With the baguette, comes an innocent bread knife, but all too soon you’re aware of its ominous journey around the stage. At one point, a befuddled Abby attempts to cut a toenail with it… the squeamish amongst you turn away now.

 

10 Years of Barclays

A quick word for Barclays, celebrating 10 years of partnership with Donmar Warehouse. An innovative highly successful partnership that has led to thousands of delighted audience members.

 

The Coda

A beautiful final scene; understated, gentle and much needed. And did I mention: superbly acted.

 

 

 

Amy Herzog Donmar Warehouse Faith Amina Imogen Poots James Norton Malachi Kirby