The Cave

This event has now finished. Until Nov 6 2010

Time Out says  

Posted: Wed Oct 27 2010

Discovered after Mervyn Peake passed away in 1968, published in 1996, and now receiving its world premiere with Aaron Paterson's production, 'The Cave's slow passage to the stage indicates an ungainly, quite possibly unfinished text by a man whose achievements as a novelist seem destined to outlive those as a playwright.

Its three intentionally repetitive acts are set in three different time periods, with the same family sequestering themselves away in a cave, only to have their institution-bound worlds shattered by the arrival of the enlightened Mary (Emily Wallis). Most interesting - if only for idiosyncrasy - is act one, where an Ice Age family refuses to leave their sanctuary, lest the 'moon goddess' smite them.

It's a transparent allegory for the shackles of organised religion, but the unusual scenario lends a layer of interest. Unfortunately it means that act two's explicit targeting of the Christian church feels instantly redundant. Act three has the modern state as the oppressing force, but loses itself in histrionic paranoia. A curio, really, but the odd hypnotically beautiful passage of language is enough to make the trip worthwhile for Peake-ophiles.

Blue Elephant Theatre details

Blue Elephant Theatre, 59a Bethwin Rd, London SE5 0XT

Blue Elephant Theatre

Thinking big for a little venue, Blue Elephant Theatre in Camberwell presents a cross-platform programme that takes in dance, theatre, music and...

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