(Not) Getting smaller

Well, the reviews for Smaller are in (theatre of course doesn’t even exist outside of London, according to the media) – and it’s not good news. People don’t like it. The kindest has been three stars out of five; the cruelest one star. The FT gave it two stars but savaged it, starting with the line: “As dismal evenings in the theatre go, Smaller is not offensive – merely slow, obvious and banal.”

The general feeling is that the writer – TV soap author Carmel Morgan – has extended a particularly traumatic episode into a full play. It left quite a few critics depressed – “remorselessly bleak” said The Telegraph. And yet, as ever, everyone praises Kathy Burke as director. It was an “adroit production”, says The GuardianThe Stage praises her “understanding of comedy and drama”; and so on.

This seems to be a persistent theme with Kathy Burke’s plays: nice direction, shame about the play. I wonder what percentage of plays produced every year actually get a good review. Anyway, you can read some of those reviews on the directing page here.