There’s a lot of predictable mediocrity in London’s theatre. You see more than your fair share if, like we do, you tend rely on cheap last-minute tickets. But, apart from sex, which is much less frequent and more negotiated in middle age, theatre is one thing we can actually agree upon as a mutual pursuit.
And where else but London might you see top-quality Irish and Jamaican plays in the same week? Last week we saw both The Ferryman at the Gielgud and Nine Night at the National’s Dorfman – two electric and beautifully acted new plays which cut through directly to London’s cultural periphery. Over the years, J has been subjected to much Irish misery drama, as well as endless lecturing on Irish history from me, while I have sat through many an uncomfortable anti-racist artistic onslaught with a pained smile. But in the past days we emerged both times from the theatre holding hands, silenced and moved in London’s summer air.
With Meghan Markle joining the heart of the British establishment this weekend, and West Brom maybe ‘taking a risk’ on Darren Moore as manager, you might be fooled into thinking that multicultural is the new mainstream. But something tells me that we will soon be cured of that.