The Method | TimeOut review
This is a play for the Angry Young Woman generation — full of spitting rage and sardonic streetwise contempt. Sexually abused by drug-dealing great uncle and physically abused by her boyfriend, Eva refuses to succumb to the victim mentality, and instead fashions herself as a twenty-first-century Siren who could tear strips off any soft-focus Hollywood goddess.
Natasha Langridge both wrote and directed "The Method", and has admirably managed to avoid the trap of being overindulgent with her work. This is lean-as-a-cheetah writing, and its well-honed savagery conjures up a disturbing picture of the survival instincts a young girl needs to negotiate a world of sleaze and decadent self-absorption.
The stage is bear, so that the action can switch from a claustrophobic flat to a police cell in seconds. Five actors prowl the stage — four metamorphosing into different characters throughout the evening, and one Pippa Nixon, brazenly dominating the action as an actress whose turbulent life comes to a head when she is involved in a shooting incident at a nightclub.
Playwright Bryony Lavery has taken the reins as dramaturg for this production, and it is no surprise that she has championed a work that is as stylistically imaginative as it is emotionally raw. There are moments when each member of the cast simply repeats Eva's thoughts, chorus-like — a device that could come across as pretentious, but here manages powerfully to emphasise the chaotic fragmentation of her existence.
Among the rest of the cast John Cunningham succeeds in making the tricky jump from incestuous uncle to establishment lawyer, and Gemma Saunders displays a similar emotional versatility. A hard-hitting triumph.
Review by Rachel Halliburton
'The Method' written and directed by Natasha Langridge was performed Upstairs at The Oval House Theatre, London in April and May, 2005 and was funded by The Arts Council.