Review: Mission Drift

By John Nathan, June 17, 2013

The Shed, London SE1

Brooklyn-based theatre company The Team exists to reflect the experience of living in America today.

Its latest offering follows the fortunes of Joan (Amber Gray), a Vegas waitress sacked as the credit crunch bites, and real-life pioneers Joris (Brian Hastert) and Catalina Rapalje (Libby King), who first encounter each other on an Amsterdam dock in 1624. In this version of American history, they conquer the frontier and 400 years later evolve into Vegas magnates who own the joint that laid off Joan.

It is a tale told by a cast drawing on a fathom-deep pool of musical talent and especially that of singer-songwriter Heather Christian. Her Miss Atomic, named after the Nevada beauty queens whose pageants celebrated local A-bomb tests, serves as a kind of singing, piano-playing MC who also narrates with the seductive intimacy of a night-time DJ.

Yet the story is so specifically American, it lacks what all great theatre has — the sense of the universal.

Last updated: 8:45am, June 17 2013