Thursday, 8 December 2011


The Physical Theatre Level 3 students put on their final year production in the Drama St Mary's Theatre tonight. They'd adapted Jonathan Safran Foer's wonderful novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close into a fast paced and charming show eponymously named Oskar.

There were some terrific performances, particularly when the company kept things simple and allowed the story to tell itself rather than - as can be the case, early on in the training - pushing too much in order to make sure we get it.

Oskar lost his father during 9/11. He was one of the many workers who jumped to their deaths from the upper reaches of the World Trade Centre. In order to try and make sense of what has happened he projects a mythical status on a lost key in an envelope and hunts all over New York to find the owner and unlock the secret that he's sure his Dad has left him in order to cope.

The story itself twists towards the end and the expected happy ending, never occurs. The turns out to be just a key and although Oskar does reunite it with its relieved owner, the optimism he had invested in the key's meaning proves futile. Instead another story begins in the mind of our hero; a story in which could be reversed so that his Dad might fall from the ground upwards, flying high until he reaches the window ledge of his office before ducking inside to wait for the planes to retreat from the building, putting the fires out. The protective sanctuary of the imagination might not be able to turn back time, but it is ever creative at finding ways to make sense of the senseless.


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