Review Round Up: Elephant, Bush Theatre

Want to know whether this play written and performed by Anoushka Lucas is worth seeing? We have rounded up the reviews for you here….

© Henri T

WhatsOnStage: **** “it is angry, but also funny, warm, and insightful, written and performed with feeling and piercing thought.”

Evening Standard: **** “Lucas is a performer of rare charisma and her first full play is a teasing, provoking pleasure. I’ve seen three shows each lasting an hour this week: this is the only one I wanted to be longer.”

The Guardian: **** “Developed and directed by Jess Edwards, this is a fully loaded hour that still manages to remain subtle. Lucas jams at the keys of her piano as she coaxes out her internal conflicts and the hidden denials of white middle classes that they’d probably rather forget. Lucas is a writer and actor of rare magnetism – we should be waiting eagerly for what she says next.”

The Stage: **** “Anoushka Lucas’ semi-autobiographical debut play gently explores identity and complex legacies of colonialism.”

West End Best Friend: **** “The show can be summarised in its leading themes of listening, filling gaps, connection, progress and contrast that approaches in ebbs and flows, managing to point out the dark without overshadowing the light.”

The Reviews Hub: *** “There is a lot going on in what is, on the face of it, a light comedy. Conservation, black history, personal identity, race and class are all touched upon humorously in passing, but the script does not settle on any of them and it becomes difficult to grasp what is the point of it all. For nearly an hour, the show ambles along, relying mainly on the performer’s charm, of which there is ample, to keep it going.”

Lost in Theatreland: **** “Elephant at the Bush Theatre is a wonderful performance full of theatrical talent, unique vocals and admirable skills on the piano that make me wish I had not abandoned lessons when I was younger.”

The Arts Desk: **** “A beguiling debut play with both charm and an angry message.”

London Theatre Reviews: ***** “Anoushka is delightful to watch, the piece is very demanding and she makes it look effortless. Lylah is believable without a doubt, the show is evidently part autobiographical. The rapport Lucas builds with the audience by the end of the sixty minutes feels real, it’s sentimental, and we’ve shared a common understanding. We feel like listening matters. Jess Edwards has given the piece a very clever direction, the movement and use of the piano in the space are truly impactful.”

Elephant continues to play at the Bush Theatre until the 12th November.

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