Tag Archives: Craig Gilbert

We Were Promised Honey!

We Were Promised Honey!


Soho Theatre

WE WERE PROMISED HONEY! at the Soho Theatre


We Were Promised Honey!

“It’s a sunny outlook on a very bleak landscape, but somehow it does the trick”


After singing along to two choruses of ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’ with writer-performer Sam Ward and the rest of the audience, my theatre buddy takes her arm from around my shoulders as the lights go up, turns to me, and, smiling blissfully, says, “I didn’t get it.” That’s almost as much as you need to know really.

We Were Promised Honey! is a calmly conveyed confusion: In August 2018 a baggage handler, Richard, stole a plane and, after performing some amazing stunts, inevitably died on crash landing. Ward interlaces this with some very controlled audience participation, and long surreal monologues about what will happen after the play is finished- in five hours most of you will be asleep, in eight hours, one of you will send an email saying, ‘Great, thanks Claire’ before walking into your boss’s office and quitting to become a farmer. In fifty years, one of you will think you’re Jesus. In 500 years, when the sky turns black, one of you will turn to your partner and say, ‘Why does it always end like this?’

The evening is split into three, and before the start of each section, Ward gives his audience a choice: We can sit here in silence until the advertised runtime of the show is over, or, even though you already know it’s going to end badly, you can hear what happens next. I can’t imagine there’s ever been an audience so hive-minded and strong-willed not to say ‘I would like to know what happens next’ so it’s not much of a risk, but it makes the point Ward is, I think, trying to make: Yes, we are all going to die, and the world will eventually end, and one day the last black hole will eat itself and there will be nothing left. But in the meantime, there’s plenty to see and do and say, and we needn’t sit in silence, waiting for the end to come.

It’s a sunny outlook on a very bleak landscape, but somehow it does the trick, and rather than feeling despairing and solemn, the audience leaves the auditorium heartened, in an almost festival atmosphere. Of course, that might not be Ward’s point at all, and maybe I just didn’t get it. But paired with David Doyle’s seemingly godly lighting, Carmel Smickersgill’s contemplative soundscape, and Ward’s smiling self-assuredness, it doesn’t really matter how it’s supposed to end. The point is I enjoyed the journey.


Reviewed on 23rd November 2022

by Miriam Sallon

Photography by Mihaela Bodlovic


Previously reviewed at this venue:


An Evening Without Kate Bush | ★★★★ | February 2022
Y’Mam | ★★★★ | May 2022
Hungry | ★★★★★ | July 2022
Oh Mother | ★★★★ | July 2022
Super High Resolution | ★★★ | November 2022


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My Brother's Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper

Playground Theatre

My Brother's Keeper

My Brother’s Keeper?

The Playground Theatre

Reviewed – 28th February 2019



“Splashes of dark humour feature throughout adding to the emotional roller-coaster of this insightful and complex piece” 


My Brother’s Keeper? first debuted in 1985 at the Greenwich Theatre. Over three decades later, it is now inviting audiences in at The Playground Theatre. Underneath the low hanging fluorescent lights, we observe a family at its most vulnerable. They have been brought together in a hospital ward (realistically represented by Victoria Spewing’s design) and are at their Father’s bedside, dealing with the impact of his recent stroke. Brothers Sam and Tony are forced to confront their past, accept the present and find hope for the future. Can they navigate their way to reconciliation before it’s too late?

The play is a triumph from Nigel Williams whose writing stands the test of time proving to be just as relevant now, with references to feminism, politics and the continuous constraints faced by the NHS. The exploration of the characters encapsulated the turbulence of family dynamics providing the audience with a truly ‘fly on the wall’ experience. Splashes of dark humour feature throughout adding to the emotional roller-coaster of this insightful and complex piece of writing exploring love, conflict, and acceptance.

To capture such a ‘classic’ middle-class family dynamic, the casting had to be just right and it was. David Partridge and Josh Taylor were a wonderful pairing to demonstrate the strained relationship between two brothers who have very different outlooks on life; a chalk and cheese combination throughout that provided a continuous momentum. Kathryn Pogson made a very endearing Mrs Stone who despite her gentle approach showed much vigour in her battle to bring her family together. So ‘real’ were the characters on stage, that I couldn’t help but empathise with their circumstances, finding myself catching glimpses of my own life. One must, therefore, applaud Craig Gilbert’s direction as the whole piece felt seamless in its journey, subtle in its approach while still packing a punch. The combination of writing and acting is a wonderful partnership reminding us just how precious life is.


Reviewed by Lucy Bennett

Photography by Bertie Beor Roberts



My Brother’s Keeper?

The Playground Theatre until 23rd March


Previously reviewed at this venue:
Fanatical – the Musical | ★★★ | November 2018
Sacha Guitry, Ma Fille Et Moi | ★★★½ | January 2019


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