X

Published April 6, 2016

What’s it all about?

In space, as they say, no-one can hear you scream. In the case of X, no-one can hear a group of interplanetary explorers say anything. Their comms are more silent than the uninhabited rock they’re sat on and no-one is coming to bring them home.

That leaves them with a lot of time on their hands and only each other for company. Oh, and the encroaching darkness of course.

Who’s in it?

X is the production that has brought Call The Midwife and Jericho star Jessica Raine back to the London stage. She is riveting as the stranded scientist full of anxiety and self-doubt as she tries to hold the mission and herself together.

As old hand on the base, Darrell D’Silva radiates a strapping confidence as he plays guardian to the good old days of an almost forgotten earth.

What should I look out for?

Just keep your eye on everything. Alistair McDowall has written a piece where almost every interaction, every line, every thought has a second or third relevance. Try to remember it all. That act, in itself, is a layering of a theme.

In a nutshell?

A tense and testing space oddity with a whole world, if not universe, of interpretations, X is an exciting, exasperating experience.

What’s being said on Twitter?

I’ve no idea, you try searching Twitter for X.

Will I like it?

X is going to divide people. It’s like a sci-fi jumble sale of existential ideas and humanity. It could look like a cluttered mess, but the more you look, the more you spot interesting pieces and patterns, echoes and repetition that reveal something far more potent than you thought.

With its focus on abandonment, memory, truth and loneliness it feels, at times, like an unlikely companion piece to Florian Zeller’s The Father or The Mother. There’s more than a hint of Doctor Who’s ‘wibbly wobbly timey wimey’ and even a little of The Neverending Story, though to elaborate much more may be to reveal too much.

Will you like it? I genuinely don’t know. But you should go and see it to make up your own mind. Maybe don’t go alone though.

X plays at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Downstairs until 7 May. You can book tickets through the theatre’s website.

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