Jubilee at the Lyric Hammersmith: Review by Stephen Vowles

Chris Goode’s adaptation of Derek Jarman and James Whaley’s original screenplay of punk classic Jubilee works because precise effort, energy, skill and acute attention to the current political, social and cultural issues have been referenced and woven into a script that is brash, electric, shocking, brutal and provocative. The cast lead by a very watchable trans performer Travis Alabanza who plays Amyl Nitrate storm the stage engaging in a battle with society and the establishment. Anarchy and discontent are still at the centre of this production.

Abrasive and raw and certainly not for the faint-hearted, Goode takes a look at today’s commercialisation of art and the exploitation of the people in it.

There is a line in the play “As long as the music is loud enough people won’t hear the world falling apart”, to this I say crank it up and keep the party going. This Jubilee is as disturbing as it is captivating with stand out performances from Temi Wilkey playing the roles of Mad & Max and Harold Finley whose execution of four characters is a remarkable lesson in the skill of acting and being totally confident in each delivery.

The look of the play is very chic, and this production is a successful homage to the late film-maker Jarman, and as such must be celebrated. However it is the presence of Toyah Wilcox, an original cast member of the 1977 film, who plays Elizabeth I, that really gives this show weight. Her command of the role is extraordinary and as the show draws to a close its fitting that one of her own songs closes the proceedings. Crazy stuff!


Jubilee runs to Saturday 10 March at the Lyric Hammersmith, King Street, Hammersmith, W6 0QL. Box office 020 8741 6850. 

To Top