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Faith, Hope & Charity at Southwark Playhouse

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Tuesday 12 July 2011 1.42pm
I admit that I do know the director/producer Leonie Kubigsteltig but it's thanks to that fact that I at last made it to the local Southwark Playhouse for the first time to see her production of Odön von Horváth's 1932 play "Faith, Hope and Charity". The situation of Elizabeth, the main character, faced with unemployment, fines, debts, hunger and general impoverishment, is such that a certain relevancy can be found to the plight of the hardest hit in today's economy, and it is that that has been the greatest motivation for the staging of this play, last put on in London in '89 and translated by Christopher Hampton. The setting is bleak, but Elizabeth 'won't let this get her down', and it is not without its undercurrent of comedy. The production is polished and professional - allow me to urge you to check it out before it closes on 16th July.

In some ways this is the perfect place for it, just round the corner from Guy's Hospital, with its history of surgery (Elizabeth rocks up at the Anatomical Institute bent on selling her corpse). And conveniently a train rumbled overhead just as the assistant dissector says "What's that rumbling noise?" (it's Elizabeth's stomach). The power cut in the bar afterwards added to the gloom and we enjoyed the candlelight!

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