City of Glass (Lyric Hammersmith)

59 Productions, if nothing else, have succeeded in creating one of the most visually striking and impressive set designs I’ve ever seen – a sensory tour-de-force.

Duncan Macmillan’s tale of fracturing identity is based on Paul Auster’s novel – the first of his New York Trilogy – and on the graphic novel by Auster and David Mazzucchelli. It begins with a wrong telephone number – the caller is asking for a detective agency called “Paul Auster”. It goes on to contain mirrors, multiples, madness. A man whose son is dead is on the track of someone who might kill his own son. The tracker, who calls himself Paul Auster, meets someone who is called Paul Auster but is not a detective but – hmmm – an author.

Confused yet? And I think that’s kinda the point, for all of the play’s wonderful styling the text itself seemed to me slightly over thought and overworked. Ultimately though it was a thoroughly enjoyable evening – it just, styling aside, didn’t have the wow factor.


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