CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Review: Precious Little Talent, at Courtyard Theatre

Set against the backdrop of Obama’s 2008 inauguration, touching play with masterful dialogue explores national identity

18 October, 2018 — By ERIN COBBY

MOVING between domestic and global spheres, Precious Little Talent is a touching exploration of creating and losing identity.

Sam (Henry George Lewis) and Joey (Marta Kane) meet on a New York rooftop, but their romance turns into a family drama as Sam is revealed to be the carer for Joey’s estranged father George (Mark Keegan), who is suffering from dementia.

Lewis harnesses Jack Black’s physicality to give this steely drama light relief, leading a reluctant Joey in a dance to Fairytale of New York, which simultaneously allows the audience to revel in Joey’s release and get prematurely excited for Christmas.

Ella Hickson’s masterful dialogue deepens our understanding of each character as George’s status as a literary professor slips alongside his use of metaphor. It also serves to polarise the American and British personality as Joey and George constantly correct Sam’s grammar.

Set against the backdrop of Obama’s 2008 inauguration, the play explores national identity and in today’s context, Sam’s belief in the face of Joey’s existential crisis that he only needs to believe in “his country, his god, his family” has added weight.

The simple set creates a cardboard city which helps highlight the gritty naturalistic acting while also giving a visual to “all those windows, tiny lights with tiny lives”, reminding us of the scale of the issues within the play despite its domestic setting.

In support of Dementia UK, until October 28
020 7729 2202

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