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'Gloria' review or 'Say my name, say my name...'

Gloria, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins
Hampstead Theatre, 22nd June 2017
Written for Exeunt 



Gloria isn’t about Gloria, an office-worker on the brink of nervous collapse. It is about Gloria’s colleagues, whose casual neglect and indifference push Gloria to her limit. It isn’t about working in publishing, although this declining industry is the starting point for Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ wild and spooky comedy. It isn’t about spiralling violence. It is about the ugly survival instincts that violence can provoke. It isn’t about truth. It is about the lies we tell ourselves to preserve the truths we’d like to believe. It isn’t about hope, progress, or the future. It is about a hole at the heart of things – a hole that is all-too often filled simply with ‘me’. Gloria is quite a serious play then, but it isn’t really. It might be about a fundamental abstraction at the heart of our lives – a stripping away of substance, connection and purpose that is affecting our personalities and priorities in strange…

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