Tribes by Nina Raine,
Royal Court, London
14th October-13th November
With two new plays on the way (the second, Tiger Country, set in a London hospital, is at the Hampstead Theatre in the new year), the moment has come for Nina Raine to fulfil her promise. Her first play, Rabbit, about a 29th birthday party full of bad behaviour and girlie sex talk, won her two “most promising” awards in 2006.
Tribes is a study of an unconventional family, playing by its own rules and with its own private language and jokes, like a modern equivalent of Noël Coward’s self-absorbed Bliss family in Hay Fever. But the stakes are a bit higher, as a struggle of love and possession develops over young Billy, who is deaf. Billy is the one person who really listens, and a chance encounter makes him finally want to be heard.