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Table – New Vic Theatre – Review

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The New Vic’s latest production of ‘Table’, is gritty, gripping, thrilling, shocking, powerful, thought provoking and entertaining in equal measure. This is one of the best plays to grace Staffordshire’s respected theatre-in-the-round for years – a triumph in a venue that consistently produces and hosts the some of best work on the UK theatre scene.

Not many people know a lot about ‘table’ – that’s because this is only its second professional outing since it was developed at the National Theatre by writer Tanya Ronder.

First performed in 2013, Table is the story of 6 generations of the same family who’s heirloom (a table made by the oldest great grandfather) has seen the family’s story play out. The troubled bloodline, as you see in the play, had all their good times and bad times around that table. From scandal to trying to hold the family together, the table was the consistent feature.

Zoë Waterman, Director, has managed to capture every detail of a superbly written script with great authenticity whilst a perfectly casted team of 8 switch between the 22 roles within the play. The transitions between characters are seamless and your attention is very much held by the incredible story that unfolds.

There is no weak link in this show – and with a high calibre cast producing such outstanding individual performances, it is almost impossible to pick out highlights. Polly Lister returns to the New Vic stage with a classy performance between her four roles but the majority of the cast are debutants to this theatre, such as Katherine Manners who plays a pivotal role (or two) with perfection.

This show is innovative for the New Vic – as the theatre boldly moves to grow new audiences with it’s varied and entertaining season. Audiences have not been packed out for this short run (despite good reviews), but this is a very exciting artistic direction should be admired.

‘Table’ is one of the best plays that the New Vic have produced in the last 5 years. If you like emerging, gritty theatre of the highest standards – this is it. Go and see it!

Playing only until Saturday 23rd June 2018. Do not miss this exceptional piece of theatre. Book online at www.newvictheatre.org.uk.

Images by Andrew Billington