Hanna, Arcola Theatre | Review

Saturday 6 January 2018

Arcola Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 5th January 2018 by Shaun Dicks 

‘If I could go back in time, would I make it not happen? And I always shrug and give the same answer: Ah – Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.’

These are the musings of Hanna, a young single mother, her life has been turned upside down. She has been told that her daughter isn’t her daughter. This is a story that tackles the idea of family. In this modern day the term ‘family’ is broader than it ever has been before. This story takes on the idea of, if you raise a child all their life but they truly aren’t your biological child, does that still make them family?

Hanna written by Sam Potter is a true modern text; its witty, dramatic, humorous and surprising. The script is well written, it intertwines the humour of the young millennial single mother, with the drama of the situation and ends in a surprising way. The direction by George Turvey is simple but effective, the staging is very minimal and leans towards more Stanislavski and his methods but the way the text is carried is very Brechtian in regard to its use of audience interaction.

Sophie Khan Levy as Hanna was humorous and endearing. She was able to create a very well rounded and thought out character in her interpretation of Hanna. She portrayed an immature maturity flawlessly; Hanna was a fully realised woman, there were no flaws in her character work. The text, despite a few stumbles, was very well paced. Levy makes you feel for Hanna, she creates an empathy for Hanna and makes the audience want to follow her story. She takes you all the way to the peak of the rollercoaster before letting you drop.

This show is raw, unrelenting and honest. Its a show that you should see. It tackles red hot issues that affect people on a regular basis and very much needs discussing more. Catch Hanna if you can, you’ll be better off for seeing it.

Hanna runs at the Arcola theatre until January 20th 2018

photo credit: Robert Workman