To the West 12 arcade in Shepherds Bush, across the tracks from Westfield, the gleaming new ship of post-crunch ice cool consumerism to see the matinee of Stovepipe a three way collaboration between The National Theatre, The Bush and HighTide written by young gun Adam Brace and staged, as a promenade, deep in the bowels of the centre.
It was really good. An exciting action packed adventure featuring mercenary soldiers, body guards, contractors, guns, sex and a faked kidnapping in post-war Iraq. The script is filmic, with fast exchanges that keep you on your toes, whilst the five cast members effortlessly switch roles and locations with admirable dexterity and driven intensity. In fact the real success of the work is that all the basics are in tact. A good story, well told. Great acting, particularly from Shaun Dooley as Alan Dobbs, the play's protagonist, and a considered approach to the promenade experience - scenes set in advance and a small enough audience both to keep the action moving seamlessly and to ensure that everybody can see everything.
This is the kind of work, modern, exciting, meaningful that I think we should be aspiring to at St.Mary's. It's honest, achievable and leaves you feeling that the afternoon has been better spent here than window shopping in the Prada and Gucci shops across the green.