On Our Shelves Now
The recession is biting hard and so Emily and Oliver have decided to downsize and shift their middle-class London lifestyle to a small town in the north of England. They want to live and to work and to raise their two young children in a friendly community, among what Emily terms 'real people', away from the cold anonymity of the city. So these left-leaning, well-educated people have invited over two of their new neighbours in an attempt to break the ice. Tonight Alan and Dawn are to be offered olives, anchovies and are to be introduced to Karl Marx and abstract art. As classes and outlooks collide, the scene is set for a meeting which will have consequences as hilarious as they are tragic. Torben Betts's works include: The Unconquered, which won the award for Best New Play 2007 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland; A Listening Heaven, nominated for Best New Play at the 2001 TMA Awards; Lie of the Land, nominated for Edinburgh Fringe First Award, 2008 (Edinburgh Pleasance/Arcola); Clockwatching (Orange Tree Theatre); The Company Man; The Biggleswades; Five Visions of the Faithful; The Lunatic Queen; The Error of Their Ways (HERE Arts Center, New York); The Swing of Things. 'This abrasive comedy about the UK's recent economic belt-tightening suggests writer Torben Betts should be a bigger name... if one detects the influence of Alan Ayckbourn, with whom Betts worked in Scarborough, that is an unequivocally good thing... The only mystery... is why his perceptive social commentaries are not better known.' - Guardian 'An artfully constructed piece that draws on familiar comic conventions to both feed and diffuse the ensuing drama. Themes of confusion, loss and vulnerability are developed through achingly awkward exchanges and what appears to be a convoluted social comedy gradually takes a darker turn... the sparks begin to fly but there is dissatisfaction bubbling under the surface here too in a play which is as much about perspective as it is about class or comedy.' - The Stage 'If you liked Abigail's Party, you'll almost certainly relish Torben Betts's astute new play... a vibrant combination of a play of ideas and a comedy of bad manners... it could well transfer to the West End.' - The Times 'a refreshing, Ayckbourn-style comedy... one perhaps sensed an unleashing of frustration against the political Establishment's romanticism of 'ordinary people' and 'the North' and this clagging guilt so many middle-class nincompoops feel about chasing success.' - Daily Mail 'Not much theatre makes me laugh out loud continually but Invincible, a spiky new comedy of culture clash and embarrassment from Torben Betts, is a rare and cherishable example...Interspersed with the laughs in the second half are surprising depths of tenderness and poignancy.' - Evening Standard 'It's unusual for a play to be political without being preachy, or dull, or both. As obsessed as we are with class distinctions, we aren't as good as we should be at pulling them apart. Invincible is therefore something rare, for it turns social distinctions into compelling comic drama.' The Arts Desk 'Ellie Jones' thoughtful direction draws out the many levels of Betts' intricate script, with hard-hitting elements played against more surreal interjections and farcical moments to create a clever blend of poignancy and humour... Invincible is a powerful, intimate piece that showcases the talents of each and every individual involved in the production. A must-see ' Plays to See 'This is a sitting-room comedy that crosses genres to become both hilarious and moving.' British Theatre Guide.
About the Author
Torben Betts read English Literature & English Language at the University of Liverpool before training and working as an actor. Works include: The Unconquered, which won the award for Best New Play 2007 Critics Awards for Theatre in Scotland; A Listening Heaven, nominated for Best New Play at the 2001 TMA Awards; Lie of the Land, nominated for Edinburgh Fringe First Award, 2008 (Edinburgh Pleasance/Arcola); Clockwatching (Orange Tree Theatre); The Company Man; The Biggleswades; Five Visions of the Faithful; The Lunatic Queen; The Error of Their Ways (HERE Arts Center, New York); The Swing of Things.