Choice: Theatre

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Not About Nightingales, National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-928 2252) 7.30pm

"If you think my play is melodramatic - Read This!" So wrote Tennessee Williams on a newspaper cutting about the appalling crushing of a prison riot in 1938 in which several convicts were brutally killed. The episode so incensed the young Williams that he set about writing a play which only now has seen the light. This is probably less about censorship by authorities, as one or two people have suggested, and more to do with the fact that by the time Williams (above) fully found his voice, his writing had moved away from the protest and social realism of this play. Luckily, the job of directing this world premiere has fallen to Trevor Nunn, who does a magnificent job. The audience at the Cottesloe sit on either side of a long stage which places the prisoners and the authorities head on. If ever a taut, visceral production made a case for a flawed play, this is it.