The parallels with Racine are clear: but what Raine has created is not a modern counterpart to classical tragedy, but a steamy saga of machismo, violence and sexual obsession that has more to do with Len Deighton's SS-GB (which posited roughly the same historical situation). And Raine's verse, characteristically full of mildly surprising simile and uneasy dips into colloquialism, sits awkwardly on the tongue.
All the same, for its British stage premiere '1953' deserves something more polished and emotionally high-powered than Crux Theatre's production. The obvious restrictions of budget and space wouldn't matter if the cast showed more understanding of the play - if they projected a sense of inner passions spilling over. With a limited expressive vocabulary, they end up shouting a lot.
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