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The Skin of Our Teeth at the Young Vic

Catherine Geoghegan

This avant-garde play by Thorton Wilder won the Pulitzer Prize in 1942 for its depiction of the Antrobuses, an all American family, and more generally, how humankind has survived throughout the various ages (and catastrophes) of the world.

The play is acted out in almost complete theatre in the round, with a stage made of three different platforms that can collapse on cue. The play takes place over three acts (as well as over three hours) with a cast of actors who switch in and out of character quick enough to keep the audience on its toes. In fact, the play, although executed well, was somewhat long and tedious to sit through. By the final act, the switching from character to actor became quite frustrating.

Something must be said for the cast however. Maureen Beattie who plays Mrs Antrobus, is nothing short of stoic as she convinces the audience that she is the glue that has held the family together thus far. David Troughton' who plays Mr Antrobus, has enormous stage presence and seems almost larger than life in his depiction of the father of all fathers.

The Skin of Our Teeth is a must see for avant-garde fans, but you might avoid it if you're easily annoyed by a long, not quite so professional night at the theatre.
• The Skin of Our Teeth, continues at the Young Vic until 10 April.
• 020 7928 6363

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