ELLIE LACHS reviews Faithful Creatures at Camden People’s Theatre. Isobel Macleod’s Faithful Creatures, directed by Evie Robinson, is a revelation. It bravely strides away from familiarity as Macleod breathes life back into the story of Gerrard Winstanley’s Diggers, a group of English Protestant radicals in 1649 who occupied St George’s Hill, Surrey and establish an alternative society based on communal living and economic equality. The actors command the stage and the story as their own with re-oiled zealotry. It isn’t, however, solely the period costume that roots us within the realm of a period drama, for that we can look to Winstanley’s consciously verbose and biblically infused speeches.  Macleod’s interests are not focused on the politics and contention, but with the relationships and identities that comprise the movement. She gives the Diggers’ ideology a human face which might otherwise have been difficult to identify with for a modern audience. Through this…Continue Reading

Faithful Creatures

ELLIE LACHS reviews Swive [Elizabeth] at the Sam Wannamaker Playhouse. The Sam Wanamaker Theatre’s latest production, Swive, directed by Natalie Abrahami and written by Ella Hickson, is mischievous, cuttingly crude and persistently powerful. The play’s anachronistic meddling and conscious theatricality set it firmly in its own league. Its staging in the barely revealing candlelit space conjures an atmosphere of amused shock, wide-set smirks and subtle thrills, all of which pave the way (if not split the sea) for Ella Hickson’s indignant, power-hungry and feminist Elizabeth I. As the woman who has been remembered for her successful ruling of the throne for 44 years despite a lack of husband or heir, Hickson has re-painted Elizabeth’s face with the extremes of ambition, and does so in a human, hubristic and relatable manner. Her actions might be conniving, self-serving and malicious, but in a world pitted against her for her ovaries and natural powers…Continue Reading

Swive [Elizabeth]