Sunday, May 25, 2008


Mike Bartlett's new play, Artefacts, is clever in the best possible way: it turns shallow thoughts into deep observations about character, and pulls apt cultural metaphors out of those depths. By grounding itself in a family drama—a spoiled British girl learns she is half-Iraqi—it avoids the pitfalls of political drama and speaks personally rather than preachingly. It's also a great demonstration of the old maxim about writing: "Show, don't tell." The stream-of-consciousness of a typical, selfish teenage girl, allows him to tell plenty, but the telling itself shows us even more about ourselves.

[Read on]

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