Review: Young Marx

Bridge Theatre, London, SE1 2SG

I recently went down to London to catch up with friends and got to see Francesca, who had been *trying* to get me down in order that I could receive my birthday present (all the way from October!).

It turned out to be tickets to go and see Young Marx, a play that opened this autumn (actually on my birthday!) at the new Bridge Theatre, by the river. It was such a fab gift idea, as I love the theatre, comedies and a bit of Karl. It followed a fab day of eating nice foods, strolling around the Christmassy shops and markets (including John Lewis, where I spent rather a lot of money on a giant Ferrero Rocher as a gift) before she at last revealed where we were heading.

The Bridge Theatre itself is a brand new commercial theatre in London, and it has a beautiful and ambient foyer, that can be seen in the picture below. There was no time before the show to get a drink, but the box office was an open table that seemed friendly, and there was some lovely ice cream at the interval.

The play itself is a dramedy featuring a revolving stage, interchanging accents and a lot of climbing into cupboards. There were several jokes that made me giggle, and I did find it very enjoyable. In terms of a critique, I think I would give it 4 stars, as although there were many positives, some aspects were a little under-acted. I adored the set, the theatre itself, jokes and the play, although perhaps would have seen it tightened up a little dynamically, in order to maintain its wit.

Particularly this seemed to be noticeable at the point of the death of one of the main characters, who was grieved over for one scene, but Marx, in particular, didn't seem to be... sad for much time at all. My main problem is with this character, as his genius also seemed a little curtailed by the content crammed into the play, and although I loved parts such as his meeting with Darwin, it did appear a little underwhelming.

Rory Kinnear, as Marx, did show him to be a flawed character indeed, however: made all the more effective by the juxtaposition of the more restrained Jenny (Nancy Carroll) and Nym (Laura Elphinstone) - especially when they did unleash their justifiable anger.