Click here!


Theatre Review: Room

Joy Watters reviews a production of a nightmarish story with outstanding performances.

Emma Donoghue’s Room, first an international best-selling novel then award-winning film, now comes to the stage in her adaptation. It visits Dundee this week (the only Scottish venue) after a London run.

Triggered by the true story of a man who imprisoned his own daughter fathering seven children with her, Room tells of a teenager incarcerated by a stranger known as Old Nick. For seven years, she is sexually abused by him, producing a child, Jack, five-years-old when Room begins.

The nightmarish story may be a fiction but its roots are in reality, making this a difficult work to approach. The first scenes show Ma and Jack following a frenetic routine of activity: she is determined to ensure he has more than a mere existence within the four walls.

Witney White is outstanding as Ma, protecting her boy with love, determined not to lose heart and hiding him from the captor during the nightly rape visits. Old Jack is a little more than a cipher in Cora Bissett’s production, with the spotlight on the mother-son relationship.

Three young child actors are sharing the role of Jack. On press night it was Taye Kassim Junaid-Evans, who brought the imaginative, loving five-year-old to life.

The role is split into two with a grown up Jack (Fela Lufadeju in a perfectly judged performance) giving voice to the boy’s inner feelings and thoughts. He and White also perform the plangent plainsong of the specially composed music.

Escape brings new trauma to Ma and Jack but ultimately there is resolution.

Room is a co-production between Theatre Royal Stratford East and Abbey Theatre, Dublin, in association with the National Theatre Of Scotland and Covent Garden Productions.

Tags: theatre

Comments: 0 (Add)

To post a comment, you need to sign in or register. Forgotten password? Click here.

Find a show

Search the site

Find us on …

Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterFind us on YouTube

Click here!