Review: The English Heart, at Etcetera Theatre
23 June, 2017 — By Elmira Tanatarova
Marie (Anya Williams), Jake (Jake Williams) and Andre (Andrew Jardine) in The English Heart. Photo: Matthew House
MATTHEW Campling’s new play tackles political changes, cultural shifts, and as is said in its title, has a very humane heart.
Set in Boston, Lincolnshire between the results of the EU referendum and last few days before the June General Election, the comedy uses a sharp witty dialogue to slowly build a dynamic between Jake and Marie (self proclaimed “country bumpkins”), and Andre, a recent buyer of their old country house.
Anya Williams’ Marie is exceptional and Andrew Jardine as Andre expertly creates chemistry with his two co-stars, convincingly playing a charming newcomer to the countryside. Jake Williams’ Jake not only touches on important issues such as mental health and sexuality, but does so with heartwarming softness – a nice change from the overt masculinity often found in such roles.
While political metaphors are inevitably present, the story is ultimately about humanity, and the beating hearts we all possess despite our political differences; a narrative that is both necessary and moving in such a divisive political climate.
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