Marx in Soho

A Touring Company/PB Production
The Casa, Hope Street
Saturday 20th 2015 (one night only)

Reviewed by Sarah Ryan

Imagine if you had but one hour on earth, where would you choose to spend it?

Howard Zinn's play sees Marx arguing his case in heaven for the chance to spend this precious hour in Soho London, where he used to live in exile. Ironically he winds up in New York Soho, the glittering monument to his old bette noire….capitalism!

Sergio Amigo's production is a tour de force, taking the audience on the Grand Tour of the big C's; capitalism, Christ and the Commune de Paris, with the actor Daniel Kelly breathing life into Marx with an eloquence and passion worthy of the ideas explored in Das Kapital.

Marx is not dead! This one man play treats us to a vivid defence of Marxism while espousing that 'I am not a Marxist!' Whilst struggling to sit down, due to troublingly painful boils, Marx wittily explores champagne communism in the form of Engels who brings him champagne when he needs food, the impracticality of being a Jew, especially in Germany and the need for human rights to take precedence over capitalism which 'turns everything into commodities'! The latter point being particularly valid at a time when bankers rule the world and are a dirty word, refugees would rather drown in the Mediterranean than stay in a war zone and food banks are a common sight!

Particularly poignant are Marx's thoughts on his family, the heartache of lost children and the toll it takes on his wife Jenny. Through Daniel Kelly's excellent compelling performance, we see Marx the man, the father, the husband, the political animal and the visionary dreamer. Laced with humour, pathos and political discussion, this play keeps you leaning forward and full of thought. Marx is right, this is the Second coming - 'Christ couldn't make it so Marx came!'

Do try and catch it if you can!

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