This event has now finished. Until May 15 2010

Time Out says  

Posted: Tue May 4 2010

Prolific playwright James Graham is a rising star. This staging of his adaptation of Mark Twain sprawling 1885 classic 'Adventures of Huckleberry Finn' is solid rather than superlative, however. Jim (movingly played by Joe Speare) is the most compelling character: Graham is at his best when tackling the theme of the fugitive slave's growing emancipation. Huck (Graeme Dalling), on the other hand, only sparks into life when he's in the company of his youthful buddy Tom Sawyer (the mercurial Jos Vantyler), who has little more than a walk-on part.

It's hard to conjure the powerful, uncontainable spirit of the Mississippi River under the arches at London Bridge: the call of the wild, and the desire for freedom, consequently don't quite get the emphasis they require. Garance Marneur's atmospheric stage design appropriately places a ragged tilted raft at the heart of events; there's also evocative music (banjo, fiddle, even a saw) and the odd song. The novel's episodic parade of antebellum Southern misfits and tricksters is conjured by a talented, versatile cast, and there's plenty of slightly rambling fun to be had, although director John Terry might profitably have reined it in occasionally. As it is, the production is too long.

Southwark Playhouse details

Southwark Playhouse, Shipwright Yard, Corner of Tooley St and Bermondsey St, London SE1 2TF

Southwark Playhouse

Another of London's enterprising subterranean venues, Southwark Playhouse has established itself as the go-to place for exciting, inventive...

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