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REVIEW: TINY KUSHNER

PUBLISHED: 11:32 15 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:11 14 October 2010

THIS British premiere of five short plays by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tony Kushner acts as a showcase not only for his talents as a wordsmith and thinker, but also the impressive and f

TINY KUSHNER, Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn High Road, NW6

THIS British premiere of five short plays by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Tony Kushner acts as a showcase not only for his talents as a wordsmith and thinker, but also the impressive and flexible four-strong cast.

Nevertheless, it is Kushner's sharp writing, keen sense of comedy and grasp of humanity that keeps this caravan of unconnected plays on track, flitting from whimsy to politics, psychology to the ironically absurd.

Strongest of all was the closer, Only We Who Guard The Mystery Shall Be Unhappy, which sees Laura Bush, brilliantly played by Kate Eifrig, reading to dead Iraqi children.

As she discovers more about their deaths, her White House platitudes give way to a revealing maternal, or perhaps Christian, guilt while she wrestles with her conscience.

A 20-minute soliloquy by the talented Jim Lichtscheidl on dodgy cops in New York, in which they claim to be non-resident, non-immigrant aliens to avoid tax thanks to a right-wing extremist from Wisconsin, is entertaining and absorbing at first but Kushner hammers his points home well beyond their expiration.

Nixon's psychiatrist struggles with psychosomatic pains in heaven in another wry, thought-provoking piece - another strong element in a varied night that will provide everyone with at least some food for thought.

- STEPHEN MOORE


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