The work in the main house has long been used to help fund the Theatre Upstairs. This must have been part of the thinking behind programming Jonathan Harvey's relentlessly crowd-pleasing Babies. Joe Penhall's brutal love-story, Some Voices (right), must have been considered unlikely to fill the house downstairs - a virtually unknown writer with dark subject matter - but it has undeniable strengths, not least in its ability to take an idea and run with it. Penhall is unfashionably unafraid to tackle serious things seriously. Good news from a 23-year old.
Given the recent government blunderings about Care in the Community, cynics may regard it as merely a theatrical rapid response, but Penhall's study was written in 1993. The buzz from the previews is very good. Budgetary constraints - barely any set and with some of the cast of five wearing their own clothes - haven't compromised its strength.
'Some Voices' opens tonight at the Theatre Upstairs (071-730 1745)
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