Review: Tell It Slant, at Hope Theatre

Thursday, 5th March 2020 — By Lucy Bacon

Alia Sohail Joshua Jewkes and Clíodhna McCorley in Tell It Slant

Alia Sohail, Joshua Jewkes and Clíodhna McCorley in Tell It Slant

TELL it Slant is about telling the truth in the age of fake news. It questions whether truth matters any more when the proliferation of social media allows the public to make their own narrative.

Maev Mac Coille, a senior communications officer at the House of Commons, sets her play on the day of the March 2017 London Bridge terror attack. The story begins in a messy, government press office, where senior press officer Dara (Joshua Jewkes) and Sam (Alia Sohail) are at their wits’ end during August’s slow news period.

Enter Vick (Clíodhna McCorley), the new recruit, with the boss Alex (Vincent Shiels). Vick, formerly a journalist, used to harangue the press office daily. Dara and Vick realise they shared a romantic encounter several years ago, and the attraction is still prominent.

However, a sudden event causes the office to enter crisis mode and forces them to react. They have to decide how much truth to tell, and what slant to put on the story. Each actor gives a strong performance and Mac Coille’s script explores the language used in a time of crisis: is it an incident, an event, or is it ongoing?

Constance Villemot’s set perfectly conveys a busy press office with desks cluttered with newspapers, laptops, notes and pens, a whiteboard and television showing the breaking news. Aided by the Hope Theatre’s intimate setting, we feel part of the department.

The result is a captivating production, interspersed with dark humour and romantic scenes, exploring how to tell the truth when lies are more attractive.

Until March 14
020 7478 0160

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