Review: Earthquakes in London

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Tron Theatre, Glasgow 2-4th June 2016
4 Stars (4 / 5)

For a play that runs for close to three hours long, Earthquakes in London manages to fill all that time and space with punch and poignancy under Mark Thomson’s direction. Written by widely-acclaimed playwright Mike Bartlett, the plot revolves around three very different sisters and their absent father in modern-day United Kingdom as they navigate their futures and desires amidst a period of political and environmental instability.

With various location and time shifts in the play, it would have been difficult to follow the story without a scene’s year and place projected onto a round screen, positioned in the middle of a huge, chaotic backdrop designed by Catherine McLauchlan. Although the quick scene changes may have resulted in somewhat of an information overload, despite being seemingly rushed at the start, the pace stretched out after a while to allow for a little breathing space.


It would take too long to credit every actor involved in this production. The performers formed an excellent company. Every character was striking and extremely watchable, and when there were a handful of them onstage, the focus was wonderfully balanced for audiences to follow the action. Each scene stood out in its own way but transitioned fluidly into the other. Movement sequences introduced in between scenes also added short bursts of lightness to a play that would have otherwise been filled with serious conversations.

An emotional commentary on what it means to live in a world where people grow increasingly desensitized and apathetic to evil truths without being didactic. Audience members file out quietly and pensively in somber satisfaction.