A Shiny Life For Me!

a personal review blog by Bianca


22 October 2022
Harold Pinter Theatre
5.0 out of 5.0 stars

This one’s been a long time coming! I originally booked tickets about two and a half years ago, in the times when Corona was just a drink to most people. After several re-schedules, it was finally time!

Good is set in pre-WWII Germany, where we meet John Halder, who is a good man. He has a chaotic wife who he loves, one good friend who happens to be Jewish, and a career as a literary professor. Life is good, but as the Nazis rise to power he must make difficult decisions regarding his own future and how far he can go to keep himself and his loved ones safe.

The play is a harrowing examination of how decent, normal people found themselves sucked into a violent regime, aiding it in its atrocities while justifying their decisions to themselves and their family. John Halder isn’t an evil man, but he does evil things in the name of self-preservation.

While the play seemed a little confusing at first, with just three actors on stage embodying a myriad of characters, it quickly becomes clear that David Tennant’s Halder is the lead character, and the people he interacts become clearer in their division, with simple lighting effects aiding the transitions between scenes and settings.

Good does not attempt to make excuses for Halder or his cohorts, rather it delves into how average people slipped down a dark path while making excuses for themselves.

Terrifying in its simplicity and with several harsh gut punches, Good is a chilling play that cuts deep and leaves the viewer reeling with emotion. Beautifully staged with a sensitive hand without disguising the depth of the topic, it is profound, and still current through exploration of motives and responsibilities.

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