Review: The Garden

By John Nathan, August 28, 2008

Little Wormwood Scrubs, London W10


Rachel Grunwald had to move her production from a communal garden in a council estate to its current outdoor location because of missiles lobbed by local kids.

It is unlikely this was a comment on Helen Thompson's bleak, post-apocalyptic play, but anything as unremittingly worthy as The Garden deserves a few brickbats, if not bricks.

Thompson's cautionary tale, directed with flair by Grunwald, paints a polluted world populated by marauding gangs. The God-fearing Josh (Ryan Saunders) and the sexually curious Laura (Nicola Stuart-Hill) cower in fear of their refuge being invaded, especially by the mysterious Tempter (Samuel Collings). Imagine Lord of the Flies meets Mad Max, but imagine it written in over-reaching prose that wants to be poetry and ends up sapping its audience of goodwill.

(Tel: 0208 237 1111 - tickets are free)

Last updated: 11:09am, August 29 2008