On the square

I had to travel to Finsbury Park to a great new theatre complex ‘The Park’ for this unusual play, Marius von Mayenburg’s dark satire ‘The Ugly One’. 


This theatre seats 90 around a slightly raised square stage. where the characters perform and onto which images are projected. It becomes the surgeon’s table, a boardroom screen and the place where Lette (Charlie Dorfman) gets to give his talk. The cast move around it and on top of it.


“Your face is unacceptable.” Harsh hearing it from your boss (T’nia Miller – a strong performance).


Worse when Lette’s wife (Indra Ové) says she can only look into hisleft eye. “‘Unspeakably ugly” she admits. “I always admired you for coping so well.”

Lette sets about seeking corrective surgery, in itself a very amusing scene, especially the sound effects, but the result is perhaps too beautiful that everyone wants that look.

Mayenburg’s play pulls you in with its comedy, before assaulting you with its darkness.

Roy Alexander Weise directs this production, for Buckland Theatre Company. It’s an entertaining, disarming night at the theatre, riven through with pertinent, uncomfortable jolts which ask us all to take a good, hard, long look in the mirror.

That cover image does look like this painting of mine by Nicholas Ives, no?

One comment

  1. Andrew Lampe

    Love this review. Sharp insights. If only i went with you x

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