(Peter Crawley’s article appeared in the Irish Times, 7/14.)
Shakespeare would call it the undiscovered country, from which no traveller returns. Beckett might see a light gleaming for an instant, pointlessly, before night snuffs it out again. And now Simon Stephens turns his thoughts to death, and everything it hollows or spurs, for this elegant solo show from Toneelgroep Amsterdam.
Set in a temporary dwelling in contemporary Amsterdam, it finds a weary traveller in a strikingly empty hotel room, almost offensively inoffensive in the uniform marigold of Jan Versweyveld design. Under Ivo van Hove’s sedate direction, this is revealed as a fabled space of transition. Like the Lloyd Hotel’s former residents, generations of Dutch emigrants, we’re all just passing through.