Politics is a veritable pick n’ mix of source material for playwrights, and new works inspired by Trump and Brexit abound. No doubt we’ll soon see a wave of hot takes on the debacle that continues to be the general election. Writer Matthew Campling attempts it with his rapid response work set in Boston, Lincolnshire, where Leave votes had the highest national percentage. Framed by a local couple and their new neighbour, a city boy who wants a quiet, weekend pad in the countryside, The English Heart attempts to be a fast-paced, political, sex farce but doesn’t manage to settle on a political metaphor or writing style.
By guest critic Maeve Campbell
The audience enter a Globe theatre transformed into ‘The Club of the Unloved’, populated by a chorus of anorak wearing, bird-watching members. We are serenaded by a virtuosic Roy Orbison cover, foreshadowing the production’s impeccable soundtrack, performed by a slick live band. What follows is a show that is silly, scrappy and homemade looking, and at the same time unfeasibly magical.
Based on a medieval folk tale, The Cornish King Mark has intentions to marry Yseult, sister of his defeated Irish enemy. He sends his loyal French knight Tristan to kidnap her. But he’s sexy and she’s sexy, and it’s love at first sip of a magical potion. Here ensues a messy love triangle and an anguished discovery of betrayal.