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Journal of Camus Studies | JCS

Journal of Camus Studies

The Journal of Camus Studies

Formerly the Journal of the Albert Camus Society, the JCS is published annually and is available in print or as an ebook. For more information on purchasing or contributing visit the Camus Journal page.

Cross Purpose | The Crypt 2014

Cross Purpose fantastic cast, brilliant production by Amy Wicks - we need to see more from her.

5 Stars out of Five

There is no need to go over the plot of Cross Purpose (or The Misunderstanding if your prefer). Amy Wicks, the producer of Cross Purpose in London 2014 ought to be the focus of this review. She found the space and the actors and put together Camus's play. That alone deserves recognition and applause. Camus's plays are as vital today as they were 50 years ago – but who reading this page needs assurance of that? Wicks' production was… what does one say when “triumph” seems too much? It was, I'm sure, what Camus would want it to be ..

The cast was perfect. The bare minimum for this play is a good mother and an excellent daughter: Wicks gave us an excellent mother, Suzanna “do it to Julia” Hamilton, and an fantastic daughter, Lucy Kirkpatrick. However without a sensitive Jan the play turns around on itself; Haydn Whiteside may have been a little on the oh-gosh-my-golly side to satisfy me but who cares what I think – it worked. Andrew Boxer did everything right as the manservant but there's not a lot a man can do with this guy – Camus spent several years writing and re-writing the play, how the manservant survived the cut is a mystery to me. Likewise for Jan's wife – another character I don't think does a great deal for the play – however Asha Reid couldn't have done more.

The set was minimal – we all waited in the crypt like witnesses to a invite-only torture that could have taken place in any of the last five decades – and the atmosphere suited the play. The effect was of witnessing something devastating and private, sordid but necessary, exactly how I believe Cross Purpose ought to be view.

I hope there will be, and I would love to see, more Camus plays from Amy Wicks in the future. I spoke to her briefly after the play and sowed – I hope – the seeds of an idea to attempt a similar production of The Just Assassins.

Simon Lea | 2014