Motortown – Simon Stephens

Motortown is brutal. It’s cruel.  It’s disgusting and disturbing. If you don’t wince and pull back a little; if some of your skin doesn’t crawl when you reflect on this play then the director missed both the point and an opportunity.

Motortown is an awful, painful, ugly play chock full of the shapes and moods of modern reality. It is possible you will not feel good after you see it, which is exactly why you should see it. It has a (dark, frightened) place in my heart and is on my “To Direct” list.

Simon Stephens proficiently walks the fine line between making the audience thought-provokingly uncomfortable and making them so uncomfortable they will disengage. Motortown references but does not quite root in everything that’s been happening in hot, arid, beleaguered countries for the past 15 years, and deftly builds the same trepidation, shock and horror we feel knowing the tape of a beheading has surfaced. Then the denoument is as cluttered and dissatisfying as real life, leaving you with far more questions than answers; exactly the kind of theatre I get excited about.

Cast: 8  5M 3W  Run time: 75 minutes? If you’re directing, move it along. Everyone is feeling every beat of this show and there is no soft pedal. Synopsis: Danny has returned home a hero from the Iraq war, and he’s fitting in to civilian life Just. Fine.

Make this show get done in your community.

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