One Hand Clapping

One Hand Clapping is Lucia Cox’s adaptation of the Anthony Burgess novel.  It’s been on in Manchester a couple of times with great reviews so I was excited to see this at the Bolton Octagon studio (a second trip there in less than a month, it’s so close on the train).

It’s a clever and engaging production.  Eve Burley delivers a completely convincing performance as the apparently settled wife, Janet, who just wants to work at the supermarket and make tea.  I don’t normally enjoy plays that use a narrative style direct to the audience, but this works well, and in fact brings us closer to Janet.  Her husband Howard (Oliver Devoti) is wonderfully fixed in his views, particularly about how bad the world is, and feels unsettlingly obsessive.  He develops well as their life changes when he uses his photographic memory to win a fortune.  Ethan Holmes provides both the condescending game show host and the mad poet, Redvers Glass.  Great performances that add texture and depth to the play but more could be made of the way the poet puts a strain on the marriage.

I love Lucia Cox’s style of direction.  She creates great characters and uses innovative movement to make the most of the limited space and time.  Sound is a key component, and interesting music choices drive the play along.  In this production the use of old TVs and old TV footage add both to the setting and the overall feel of the play.  It’s a lovely set that is used so well.

Very happy to have seen this at last!


Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.