Lands, Bush Theatre | Review

Friday, 9 November 2018

Bush Theatre
Reviewed on Thursday 8th November 2018 by Shaun Dicks

Absurd. Absurd is a multifaceted word. It’s volatile, malleable and powerful. Absurd is the word to describe Lands. Produced by the incredible company Antler, Lands is a story of two women, puzzles and a trampoline. We follow their story as one tries to finish their puzzle, while the other tries to give up their addiction. This show is very metaphorical, conceptual and symbolic. You’re in for a ride. 

The shows main strength is its humour. The scripted humour throughout this entire piece is brilliant, the use of situational, physical and verbal humour is so perfectly pitched that it’ll make you snort. But not just snort, but loud and ugly snort. You’ll cry because you’re laughing so much. You’ll laugh so much it’ll hurt.

Mainly, this is because of the wonderful leads: Leah Brotherhead as Leah and Sophie Steer as Sophie. They are a wonderful duo, who are great together. They know how to play and bounce off each other and both look like they are having fun together on stage. They interact well with the audience and their stage manager Rachel Darwood throughout. My favourite thing about them was when they were silent. They use silence perfectly. They aren’t afraid to use it. 

The direction of this piece by Jaz Woodcock-Stewart is very well done and evident throughout the piece. The set design by Charlotte Espiner is interesting, extremely industrial and cold. The lighting design by Rajiv Pattani is simple and subtle but well presented and constructed. And the use of sound is another highlight, specifically the song choices dotted throughout. My favourite moment in the entire show is a certain dance break. Try and make the connection. 

Lands by Antler is a show where you need an open mind. It’s barmy, bonkers and brilliant. It’s just absurd on so many levels. So, you have to go watch it! Do yourself a favour and go laugh for 80 minutes, because you will at Lands

Lands runs at the Bush Theatre until December 8th 2018

photo credit: Helen Murray