Trust, 1 Star

22nd Feb to 17th March
Gate Theatre

Since Jo Royce took over as Exec Director early 2017 all the staff have turned over – they’ve quit or been fired. I fall into the latter category. It would appear that this has been a narrow escape considering the latest offerings coming from new Artistic Director Ellen McDougall’s 1st season.

This being a heavily funded fringe venue with money from the Jerwood Foundation, the Arts Council and the National Lottery it’s lucky that the Gate Theatre doesn’t have to rely on ticket sales for sustainability. Clearly money doesn’t a good show make!

As a former employee I didn’t Review this production so instead I’ll provide links from other Reviewers for this post.

When you have so much funding and such a bad show it does make me wonder if the money wouldn’t be better spent on homeless youth or some other cause rather than putting on a handful of productions a year in an otherwise predominantly dark, dormant and empty theatre. Don’t just talk about going green – do it by turning off the lights and let the homeless benefit from the prime real estate and funding.

Here’s what the Reviewers are saying:

The Times, 1 Star
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“The piece is so wilfully devoid of shape or momentum, though, that it becomes infuriating, and by the time we arrived at a lengthy yoga routine accompanied by droning non sequiturs of vague existential despair, I was losing the will to live. Playful — but punishing.”

What’s on Stage, 3 Stars
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“But, spread thinly over 100 minutes, the play spins itself around without ever seeming to progress. A lot of what we see onstage doesn’t make sense, an apt reflection of our complex financial systems, which one level feel like leviathans of senselessness. But the piece seems to confound to a point of tedium, undercutting what is a thriving and intriguing debate with lengthy, inexplicably stilted segments (a yoga exercise, played out in full, was very stifling).”

The Financial Times, 3 Stars
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“But as time rolls on, you begin to suspect that, having made its point, the piece isn’t going to develop and it starts to feel laboured and gratingly repetitive. The final section, in which the three performers conduct a lengthy yoga session to a voiceover on a loop about the perpetuation of the system, may demonstrate our insulated self-absorption, but it feels interminable.”

Broadway World, 2 Stars
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“But on the whole, Trust lacks engagement. The humour is too dry and not particularly funny. One hundred minutes seems too long, and it feels like a chore to get through. Even though some interesting points are made, you don’t really realise their importance until you contemplate them on the journey home.”

The Upcoming, 2 Stars
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“Yet, Trust ends up feeling like its being played at half speed, with laborious scene changes, a lack of clarity in regard to how it’s all meant to hang together, and, Christian aside, some weak performances making the show a bit of a slog to get through. It’s a constantly shape-shifting collage of contemporary crises on levels both personal and political, a series of thematic Molotov cocktails crucially lacking the spark to light the soaked rag.”

British Theatre Guide
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“These disconnected scenes are mirrored by short extracts from the turbulent breakdown of a couple’s relationship in which they can’t even agree whether they have been together fourteen years or just three weeks.Meanwhile on a screen, film is projected of golf courses, spaghetti roads winding through high-rise futuristic cities and a dog wearing a shark costume sitting on top of a moving roomba.None of the film clips seem connected to anything else and are quite a distraction. Not that anything else seemed to have any meaning you could latch on to.Though as you wearily leave the hundred-minute show, you might also have the suspicion that it is a lot of messing about to no purpose.”