The Daughter-In-Law @ Arcola Theatre*

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tickets and more information: https://www.arcolatheatre.com/event/the-daughter-in-law-2019-01-19/
Booking until: 2nd February 2019
Production Photos by: Idil Sukan
Run time: 2hr 30 mins incl. a 15 minute interval.

After much critical acclaim and a sell out run in the smaller studio at the Arcola, director Jack Gamble’s production of D.H. Lawrence’s play has now transferred to the bigger space for four weeks only. The play follows the Gascoyne family whose lives are flipped upside down when a big secret is revealed involving one of the sons, Luther, who has recently married. Meanwhile, in the background, the National Coal Strike of 1912 is brewing and growing closer to the Gascoyne home.

the daughter in law 2

The entire play gives a very authentic feel of the type of town D.H. Lawrence would have lived in himself as the script is written and performed in a strong East Midlands dialect. Louis Whitemore’s in-the-round set design places the living rooms in the centre of the space, inviting the audience into the Gascoynes’ lives, delivering a homely feel even for this southerner. I must also commend the fantastic sound design by Dinah Mullen, which eased the transitions between scenes beautifully as well as providing wider context to the build up of the coal strike.

the daughter in law 3

The entire cast are absolutely fantastic and deliver some incredible performances. But, for me, the stand out was Ellie Nunn as Minnie, Luther’s wife. Her anger, rage and hurt that Minnie feels is so powerful that it’s heartbreaking to watch. Some of her lines were delivered so strongly that I felt like she was zapping me with a sting in my gut.

the daughter in law 4

Overall, The Daughter-In-Law is a very strong and thrillingly tense drama that is a unique experience in the Arcola Theatre studio 1. What surprised me about the play, was just how humorous it was, which relieved some of the tension within the play. Although, I did find that sometimes the humour overpowered the most dramatic of scenes and it lost some of the tension (like in Minnie and Luther’s very big argument scene in act 1). Despite this, I would highly recommend The Daughter-In-Law if you find yourself in the Hackney area.

Until next time,

hayley-sprout-transparent

 

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