Albion: A Sprawling Garden Of England Play

Albion, Almeida Theatre ★★★☆☆

Neil Dowden
By Neil Dowden Last edited 12 months ago

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Albion: A Sprawling Garden Of England Play Albion, Almeida Theatre 3
Photo: Marc Brenner

As its title suggests, Mike (Doctor Foster) Bartlett’s new work Albion is a state-of-the-nation play that asks questions about the nature of British values at a time of identity crisis.

It is set in the historic but neglected landscaped garden of a country house which a metropolitan businesswoman has bought to restore to its former glory. It rambles on entertainingly enough for about three hours – touching on Brexit, class divisions and patriotism – with plenty of fertile ideas that don't fully develop, overburdened with self-conscious, quasi-Chekhovian symbolism.

Victoria Hamilton excels as a domineering but divided Thatcherite entrepreneur with family problems who alienates almost everyone one around her as she tries to revive an idealised past that probably never existed. This slick production by Rupert Goold (who directed Bartlett's highly successful King Charles III) is enhanced by Miriam Buether’s seasonal Arcadian design in the reconfigured Almeida Theatre.

Albion, Almeida Theatre. Tickets from £10, until 24 November.

Last Updated 19 October 2017