THEATRE REVIEW: ‘Good’ by C.P. Taylor at the Harold Pinter Theatre until 24 December 2022

Good by C.P. Taylor is at the Harold Pinter Theatre until 24 December 2022. A deceptively simple title. It’s the journey of one lecturer from being pretty decent to becoming a holocaust supporter. His personal rationale, torn between disbelief and herd instinct, is an exploration of how Germany allowed it, collectively.

We’ve all looked at end-stage Alzheimer’s sufferers and thought, ‘We wouldn’t let that happen to our pets.’  It’s inhumane. My own mother used to say, ‘If I get like that, honey, shoot me.’ Surely it would be kinder for the sufferer and their family. That’s how it started.

David Tennant and Sharon Small in GOOD at the Harold Pinter Theatre

David Tennant and Sharon Small in GOOD at the Harold Pinter Theatre, Directed by Dominic Cooke, Photographer Johan Persson

The lecturer’s Jewish friend, his only friend, makes all the objections, sometimes even throwing in some  justifications, which provides ample wry wit.

The acting is excellent, muted to sweeten the horror of the implications. Politics mixes with personal ambition and family crises, to create a suffocating black bag for Halder (David Tennant) from which he cannot escape.

David Tennant and Sharon Small in GOOD at the Harold Pinter Theatre

His two co-stars play all the other roles bar one, and mostly to great effect, especially the moment where Sharon Small flits between demented mother and depressed wife. It becomes confusing when they both swap genders however.

Music is ever-present, bubbling up from the lecturer’s subconscious, as the noose tightens,  creating th

e effect of a spontaneous backing track. The staging is stark and mostly static, so as not to detract from the actors and their message: ‘It could happen to anyone’.

The Harold Pinter Theatre, meanwhile, is a delight, with period interiors, and an exhibition of all their shows, with original engravings, photos, programmes and reviews, meticulously assembled, right from the 1840s.

 

Tickets are mostly sold out, so move fast. 

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