“In Lambeth” is a play set on the eve of the Storming of the Bastille in the titular London borough. Thomas Paine flees a mob and finds himself in the garden of intellectual fellow traveller William Blake, who’s arboreally elevated full frontal nudity adds to the drama and serves to highlight the two men’s differing approaches to social change.
Cultured correspondent Ed Hallam saw the opening performance on Thursday and says “I imagine the libertarians would enjoy it”. Knowing Ed a little, I think his opinion is certainly worth a gamble.
This is not the first run for the play so we can look back at the previous reviews. Derek Watts of the Crawley Observer saw the 2009 production and is more skeptical than Ed. He described the play as an “interesting but ultimately somewhat directionless piece”, but also provides a romantic description of the plot, acting, and the production, including the following:
Tom Paine, pamphleteer, revolutionary, republican has stumbled into the Lambeth garden of William Blake, the visionary artist, poet and dissident. He is given a meal and a lot of booze and the two men trade images of a perfect world. For the most part they share those dreams but they differ fundamentally in how to get there. Paine is the pragmatic politician, whose starting point is what exists and stressing that revolution is achieved by mobilizing the people to overthrow the system. Blake is the romantic visionary, the idealist who believes that before you can have revolution you have to have revelation, which may or may not include the odd spot of regicide along the way.
Love and Madness carries photographs of the 2009 production and additional reviews.
Spellbound Productions’ “In Lambeth” was written by Jack Shepherd. The run continues until Saturday 2nd August at The Southwark Playhouse. The show starts 7.30pm and there is a matinee at 3pm.
After the Tuesday show there will be a discussion with the cast and creative team after the show. That sounds like an excellent opportunity for a contribution from active libertarians.