The Author? Confused, you may be

 Tim Crouch believes in really bringing his play to the audience in The Author at The Door

The Author

The Door, Birmingham Rep

****

We are by nature, creatures of habit and if there is one thing that most people expect when they enter a theatre space, it's a rule book of some sort. So when there isn't one, the initial result is confusion.  

It's not the audiences fault. Tim Crouch sets out from the start to destabalise. He's, the author of `The Author ‘and the actor who plays himself, sort of, in a play about another play in another theatre. Confused, well you might be and in the first 10 minutes you feel invited to join in, scream out or hide quietly under the seat. 

However like any controlled experiment you need distance to observe it and that's exactly what you are not permitted to have. No stage, no costumes, no set just two banks of opposing tiered seating. You wonder if everyone's in the cast, maybe they are, and that's the point Crouch is making. 

Its non setting is the Royal Court Theatre Jerwood upstairs yet the fact an audience member called out to remind the players that this was in fact The Door (Birmingham Repertory Theatre) was a clear indication that a few were just not getting it. 

THEMES AMD IMAGES 

You can't say this play's themes are clear to understand as they lie in your own sensitivity to the experience. It's a bit of a Russian doll, with each diminishing figure painted in some pretty toxic paint. 

When at last the players are all revealed, a level of security returns and you begin to understand the relationships and start to lock onto the story. It presents you with questions, perhaps too many at times, by leading you to imagine some quite disturbing images.  

The Author is an adult divisive interrogation, resting at times on the effect of our own social awkwardness than inspiring us to deeper thought, but that seems to come after the event.  

It's a ` Marmite' like experience. Perhaps too strong to say you will either love or hate it, but it's guaranteed that the flavour will last a long time after the first bite and if you like your theatre with a tasty raw edge it's an experience that should not be missed. To 13-11-10

Jeff Grant 

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