"Electric"

Timeout_london128Yet more reviews of Artefacts appeared yesterday.

"Bartlett adroitly plants the seeds of the play’s dichotomy – between complacent British self-absorption and the life-and-death plight of Iraqis," says Brian Logan in Time Out. "The play’s crux, and most compelling moment, comes later, in war-torn Baghdad, when Ibrahim must decide whether to sell the vase so he can ransom his kidnapped daughter, Kelly’s half-sister Raya. What is more important: artefacts or people? The country (its history, its identity, its spirit) or the individual?

"I’m sympathetic to Bartlett’s politics," he continues, "but would rather Kelly had been changed by her adventure than remained a cipher for the West’s imperial egotism." Wouldn't we all, Brian.

He praises the performances though: "Peter Polycarpou as Ibrahim plays the crisis with dignity and understandable impatience towards Lizzy Watts’ spunky, mouthy Kelly."

Lucy Popescu in Theatreworld was a huge fan: “Makes you catch your breath…Lizzy Watts is superb as the outspoken Kelly…Peter Polycarpou is equally impressive as her stubborn, careworn father...it will have you gripped throughout.”

And in Curtain Up, the wonderfully named Lizzie Loveridge trumps many of her more esteemed colleagues in the critical fraternity by actually getting the metaphor.

"The combination of Bartlett's writing the voice of the teenage girl and Lizzy Watts' feisty performance is electric," she concludes. We like to think she's absolutely right.