Tuesday 14 August 2012 | By Sarah Richardson
ED2012 Theatre Review: The Letter Of Last Resort and Good With People (Traverse Theatre co-production with Tricycle Theatre and Datum Point / Paines Plough)
What would you do if Radio 4 ceased to exist? Unless you are a particularly unhinged Archers fan, the answer probably wouldn’t be “destroy twenty million people”. But this is one option the new PM must consider in ‘The Letter Of Last Resort’: a sharp Westminster play in which she must leave instructions to a nuclear submarine captain in case an unlikely nuclear attack wiped out the UK – and its broadcasts. Darkly comic, this take on political destruction is reminiscent of Catch 22 in questioning rational and irrational action. ‘Good With People’ then examines personal destruction in Helensburgh, where two characters face a dark past. Slower, more menacing, this is a good foil for the ‘Letter’ – and together the plays form a powerfully gripping programme.
Traverse Theatre, 4–26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), times vary.
tw rating 4/5 | [Sarah Richardson]