THEATRE / The Taking of Liberty - Man in the Moon, London SW3

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The Independent Culture
The setting for Cheryl Robson's play, which won the 1990 South London Playwriting Competition but has never been produced, is post-revolutionary France, but her concern is less with insurrectionary tactics than with sexual politics. As the world turns upside down and the men of a small town near Lyon espouse radicalism and Robespierre, the women's seething discontent with their lot boils over into a rebellion focused on the new statue of Liberty in the town square.

There are occasions when the large cast appears perilously close to breaking into song, comme Les Miserables, or becoming like a mass audition for one of those bosom-heaving Euro mini-series. The air of not-quite-authentic costume drama reflects a lack of robustness in the writing and structure, but this always-watchable play (reminiscent in many ways of Caryl Churchill's Vinegar Tom - about another, very English, kind of witch-hunt) is refreshingly uncoy about its feminist sympathies and has an engaging optimism. And, for once in the theatre, the women really do get all the best lines - which gives the quintet of young actresses roles to relish.

In rep to 26 Sept (071-351 2876)

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