Last year, the Royal Exchange launched the Hodgkiss Award  – a unique scheme to pair a rising-star director with a writer of their choice. The winner of this scheme was director Ng Choon Ping and writer Lee Mattinson, and their play Crocodiles. The play centres around a coastal-town family and their domestic life, but the world Ping and Mattinson draw is not all it seems. Their mixing of fairytale and the supernatural along with kitchen sink drama creates a piece that’s equal measures Brothers Grimm and Brookside. The Glass family face many issues familiar to social realist theatre – family breakdown, job troubles, problem kids – but for them these issues are drawn in broad fantastical strokes. Witches burn in precinct, precognitive toddlers gurgle in the playroom and crocodiles are always hiding in the shadows. For some, this blending of fantasy and domesticity would peel apart, but Ping and Mattinson have a history of successful theatre collaborations, and with his previous experience as a storyliner for Coronation Street, there’s no doubt that Mattinson can make the drama feel real. All this is presented in the Royal Exchange’s Studio – a flexible space for sure, and necessary to contain Crocodiles’ thundercrash of themes.

Wed 1 – Sat 18 Oct, Royal Exchange Studio, St Ann’s Square, M2 7DH, 7.30pm/2.30pm (matinee), £12/£10,

Wed 1 Oct - Sat 18 Oct
Jon Whiteley
Published on:
Wed 1 Oct 2014