Spinning Into Butter
Written by Rebecca Gilman
Directed: Dominic Cooke
Starring: Emma Fielding, Jordan Frieda, Mido Hamada, David Horovitch and Robert Bowman, Susan Engel, Fred Ridgeway.
Story: Probes latent racism in a white liberal institution . Sarah Matthews, Dean of Students at an overwhelming white US college, bears all the traits of the conscientious, concerned liberal, fighting for her minority students and against the clumsy tokenism of many of her colleagues. However, scratch the politically correct surface, and what appears is shockingly unexpected.....
A round up of the press notices by Darren Dalglish
Rebecca Gilman's controversial play has recievewd a mixed notices from the popular press... NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD describes the production as "sluggish". He says, " It is the reasons for prejudice or the nature of its impact that rate theatrical attention", but this play "steers clear of such considerations." JOHN PETER for THE SUNDAY TIMES says, "This is a dangerous, searching, brilliant play, probing the self-inflicted wounds of a self-righteous civilisation." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Even if her [Rebecca Gilman] conclusion - that it's a crime[racism] of which we're all guilty - is less likely to come as a shock-horror revelation in Britain, the play still generates a prickly unease." He goes on to say, "Gilman is well served by Dominic Cooke's tight, focused production and by Emma Fielding's outstanding performance as Sarah." BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES is impressed with the play saying, "Her[Rebecca Gilman] point is a constructive one: that only when people acknowledge their own visceral prejudices, and try positively to look for the individual in the alien mass, will racism itself be defeated. I can’t believe anyone will leave the anguishings, the moral contortions, the opportunism, the sheer muddle on display in Dominic Cooke’s admirably tense production without saying amen to that." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Facing up to one's racist impulses can be the first step to overcoming them. Spinning into Butter emphasises that valuable point, but even the fine cast of Dominic Cooke's fluent and committed production cannot persuade you that the piece creates genuine drama from its cogent thesis. " CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "It's a potent little tale.." He goes on to say, ".. the plotting creaks and there's an alarmingly sentimental ending....Cooke's production, though exceptionally well acted, can't disguise these failings." However, he ends his review, "This is a drama that will send audiences arguing into the night, and one that cries out to be seen."