Wednesday, September 20, 2017
Brilliant Knives In Hens #KnivesInHens @DonmarWarehouse ...
This three-hander is set in a God-fearing, pre-Industrial Britain and tells the story of a ploughman (beefcake Christian Cooke), his wife (defiant yet curious Judith Roddy) and a miller (brooding darkly bearded Matt Ryan). The play is earthy, grim, and sexy. And a bit of a corker. The action kicks off with a bout of rough sex between the ploughman and his wife - and yes we were hooked.
On one level, the play has the simplicity of a fable. We see a character known simply as Young Woman tethered like an animal to a village ploughman called Pony William. Although, like everyone else, she is taught to hate the local miller, the woman finds in him a source of emotional release that enables her to escape her husband and articulate her long-suppressed feelings. In that sense, the play echoes Shaw’s Pygmalion, Russell's Educating Rita and Wesker’s Roots, in that it becomes a play about a woman’s liberation through words.