Review: Request Programme, Inlingua, Shandwick Place

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MISS Rasch returns with her groceries. She unpacks then gets on with her domestic chores, in her one-bedroomed flat, alone. For the next hour the only words spoken are from the radio, tuned to a music request show for lovers.

****

Much of her evening will be painfully familiar to anyone that has ever lived alone. The small habits that become routine then ritual.

Among a series of smart embellishments by this Swedish production, the most astonishing is moving the original 1970s German play off the stage. By seating the audience in and around a replica bedsit, they become implicated in a way that goes far beyond voyeurism.

Cecilia Nilsson plays a fastidious Miss Rasch, with a gentle strangeness peeking around the edges. So much is revealed by the tiny actions of this woman yet she remains fundamentally opaque.

This is humane and moving and exhausting. It’s a quiet night in with Eleanor Rigby. Accept the invitation. Let yourself in.

Until August 19