REVIEW: Bull, Crucible Studio

Sam Troughton as Thomas and Adrian Lukis as Carter in Bull by Mike Bartlett, Crucible Studio, Feb 6-23 2013

Sam Troughton as Thomas and Adrian Lukis as Carter in Bull by Mike Bartlett, Crucible Studio, Feb 6-23 2013

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ANYONE who has ever dreaded going into work because for some reason they’re out of favour with their boss or workmates will know just how the central character Thomas feels.

Sam Troughton brilliantly portrays exactly what it is like to be bullied and to try to stand up for himself when he is constantly undermined by colleagues who are out to humiliate him.

His eyes maintain an incredible intensity as he tries ineffectively to hit back against the arrogantly overbearing Tony (Adam James) and the clinically nasty Isobel (Eleanor Matsuura).

The three are pitted against each other as redundancies loom. Only two will survive what their casually brutal boss Carter (Adrian Lukis) gleefully calls a cull.

Rising star playwright Mike Bartlett intensified the atmosphere by having some of the audience stand up ringside.

The climax of the play was spectacular but I felt that the ending went on too long as 
the point had been made all too well by then.

Director Clare Lizzimore did an excellent job, however.

I spent the entire play with a knot in my stomach as the bullying felt all too real from the start.

Not an enjoyable evening but an amazingly intense one.

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