A friend and I went to see Radiant Vermin at London’s Soho Theatre on Saturday. Today is Monday and I’m still thinking about it, talking about and laughing out loud whenever I recall certain scenes.
We risked sitting in the front row, at stage level. Risky because if the play was to disappoint in any way, then hiding this displeasure might have proven rather difficult. But Radiant Vermin far from disappointed, unless of course props are what you look for in a good play. The lack of props were compensated by the sharply written script, superbly executed performances, and its highly engaging and relevant subject matter.
Time Out describes it as “the extreme lengths one couple go to to escape the housing crisis”, but it is about so much more than this. Radiant Vermin unapologetically addresses everyday life in such a way that audiences can see their lives, and those of other people they know, reflected back to them. It considers such themes as class, consumption, homlessness, greed, morality, catalogue shopping, parental competitiveness, and family life as a means of legitimising “never enough” consumption. These are presented with pacey humour and a skillful satire that not only allows the audience to relate, but leaves them wanting more.
One such scene is the party scene, made remarkable not just for its writing and acting creativity, but also because of its faultless representation of competing parents. Competitiveness here manifests itself through giving presents to a one-year-old baby, and whose present takes top prize for most ostentatiously expensive and least practical.
It is hilarious, sad, thought-provoking and so relevant to now.
Our decision to sit in the front row was a brilliant one. It allowed for a real closeness to the story and the characters. A closeness that doesn’t come cheap at larger segregation-through-seat-allocation theatres.
Radiant Vermin is only on for one more week in London before going to New York as part of the Brits off Broadway Festival!
@sohotheatre @sohotheatre @Nektaria M @radiantvermin @WhatsOnStage @59E59Theatres Radiant Vermin
This review also features in Time Out London.