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Scenes from the Big Picture

The world premiere of "Scenes From The Big Picture" presents a vivid kaleidoscope of images from the city of Belfast. We are introduced to a variety of inhabitants as we witness 24 hours in the life of that bewildering and troubled city: from youngsters struggling with unemployment, drugs and the stirrings of first love to an elderly couple facing the fears and uncertainties of a possible cancer diagnosis.

A powerful compelling bittersweet collage of love, longing and hope in a sea of despair.

Alan Bird
 

(Production photos by Nobby Clark)

Next Review by Jonathan Richards
(from a preview performance!!)

24 hours. 20 characters. An urban story. Owen McCafferty's new play which examines the lives of 20 characters living in Belfast (many of whom the lives interweave) is a bold step in a new direction for the National Theatre. It is also a very rewarding one.

McCafferty's writing is wonderfully attentive to the beauty of the real world - the mundane and common place has a poetic elegance which he draws with stunning accuracy and every one of the diverse characters is fully and neatly formed.

It is certainly a large cast for the small Cottesloe Theatre, but there is not a weak link to be found, and Peter Gill's observant and well paced production is beguiling - the 3 hour running time races past.

A touchingly human, refreshingly unpolitical, beautiful production and play.

(Jonathan Richards)
 

MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "McCafferty's ability to show not just the way individual lives intersect, but the collision of private and public worlds, is striking" BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "This is, as someone says, a place where people feel as much in control of their lives as lumps of meat in that abattoir — and it's brought to life with care, intelligence and, yes, love." NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, "Captivating....Dark brilliance".

External links to full reviews from popular press

The Guardian
The Times

Originally published on

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