(Michael Billington’s article appeared in the Guardian, 10/13.)
Because we see it so rarely, we forget that Edward Bond's Saved is a play rather than a cause celebre. And watching Sean Holmes's powerful production, the first major revival in a quarter of a century, I was struck by the way violence threads its way through every scene. But, in the wise words of a former critic, this is "violence as a social deformity crying for correction" rather than the product of a cruel and absurd universe.
What Bond suggests is that we have created a coarse, brutal world in which linguistic vacancy leads to moral indifference. You see that in the very first scene in which Pam brings a young man, Len, back to her south London home for no other purpose than a quick shag on the sofa. When Len asks "Wass yer name?" Pam's instant reply is a "Yer ain' arf nosey."