The Hole by The Theatre of Heaven & Hell at The Hen and Chickens Theatre

Heading out to Islington again, this was the GingerWig’s first trip to The Hen and Chickens Theatre to see The Hole. The Hole was the second play by English playwright N. F. Simpson. It has been revived by The Theatre of Heaven and Hell, an up and coming theatre company founded by Elena Clements, Darren Ruston and director Michael Ward.

Definitely an absurd piece, The Hole concerns a hole in the ground in which people are working. A tramp waits next to it, peering in and in his own words forms “the nucleus of a queue.” Different people come along and inspect the hole and pass their own judgments on what they think is going on inside. Things take an absurd turn as a scientist, politician and preacher all inspect the hole, and try to convince each other of their theories.

We can’t help but conclude that in 1958, a lot of people were baffled by what happened down manholes. Definitely ripe in 1958 for a piece of absurd theatre; today, however, it doesn’t quite have the same impact.

Regardless of this, the play was well acted by Darren Ruston, as Endo, switching between a couple of characters as he tried to make sense of the hole. The two nattering women, played by Elena Clements and Angela Loucaides were also very effective in eliding absurdity with the mundane as they discussed issues not relating to the hole.

Simply staged and effectively performed by this new theatre company that focuses predominately on theatre of the absurd. Certainly to our taste at the GingerWig. Well done to the Theatre of Heaven and Hell. Good luck with the next production.

Highlight of the piece – outlandish singing moments taking us by surprise.

WIGS 3/5

You can catch ‘The Hole’ at the Hen and Chickens Theatre in Islington until 5th of March. On at 7:30pm.

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