Mother Courage & Her Children, everything theatre

“Royal Arsenal, a former WWI munitions factory, occupies a huge site bordering the Thames in Woolwich…Teatro Vivo and Greenwich & Lewisham Young People’s Theatre exploit this unique setting to stage an intimate production of Bertolt Brecht’s famous play

“When scene one begins, we meet Mother Courage and her three children who trundle over from the other side of the park with her cart. Mother Courage is played by the excellent Denise Orita, who gives her a more modern, bohemian interpretation with plenty of attitude. Tomi Ogbaro plays her son Eilif and Dane Stephens is her other son, Swiss Cheese…

“Mother Courage’s mute daughter Kattrin, despite being limited to non-speaking vocalisations, evokes the most pity…

“Brechtian staging conventions were adapted effectively by director Sophie Austin. Brecht’s trademark placards are replaced by the Narrator’s jarring interruptions by the loud hailer, providing vital context to a play whose action spans such a large time period.

“There are plenty of songs and the writing leaves us unable to empathise with the cast. Instead, we are disgusted by the world they inhabit and the lack of humanity in the characters themselves…”

Read the entire review on everything theatre here.

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