Susan Conley, 11th September 2012
When talking about farming, it’s knee jerk to wax lyrical about living on the land. Well, we all live on the land, be it ever so covered in concrete. The true issue is the yearning to live with the land, an idea that, ahem, is reaped to its fullest harvest in FARM. The audience bovinely shuffle around the warehouse that contains the show, with the usual obstruction of sight lines that promenade theatre guarantees. Myriad scenes take us from an auction house to a lesson in untacking a cart horse; from an urban allotment to a barn dance; from a calving shed to a lonely field that doesn’t look like it has produced in many a generation. We learn without feeling instructed, and the breadth of experience related is as broad as the land itself.
The production is perfectly pitched and paced; never patronises or fetishises; the cast are highly accomplished in all they do (particular kudos to Ralph the pony, who one could say was born for this role) and by the time we are all sitting around on hay bales, drinking mead and having a sing song, FARM has given us a feeling of having created a community, while simultaneously feeling its loss in the larger world — a very, very tricky thing to do, and very, very well done.