Industry royalty Nick Hytner directs the first production at London’s newest theatre

Words Millie Milliken Photos Manuel Harlan

Bridge Theatre competition - Young Marx

It’s fitting that stage star Rory Kinnear is the title character in this new playhouse’s first ever production. Why? Well, the Olivier award-winning thesp is no stranger to playing the rogue (Lord Lucan in Lucan, The Creature in Penny Dreadful, Iago in the NT’s production of Othello). With such a roll call under his belt, Kinnear – unsurprisingly – does this dark comedy justice. 

Young Marx theatre review Bridge Theatre

Set on Dean Street in Soho circa 1850, Young Marx follows the twists and turns of ‘Europe’s most feared terrorist’. With writer’s block, a failing marriage and the whole of London after him, Marx’s only solace comes from his wealthy comrade Friedrich Engels. He likes a drink, enjoys his women and manages to keep himself in plain sight and on the wrong side of the law. A mad genius, some would say; a lost soul seems more apt to me.

Young Marx theatre review Bridge Theatre

Kinnear is faultless – I’d have expected nothing less. He manages to make both the comedic and dark moments of the plot sincere, and his constant crawling up fireplaces, fist fights and (at one point) climbing a wall and running across rooftops shows of a surprising skill and agility. Oliver Chris is a more caricatured antidote but comes out just as memorable as Rory. The set is superb – a carousel of interiors that Matt Thompson has managed to look historically accurate despite being housed in a brand new theatre.
Young Marx theatre review Bridge Theatre

All in all, it’s a rambunctious romp through the philosopher’s life. Hilarious? Nearly always. Teetering on tragic? Oh yes. We think this marks the beginning of a very exciting season.

Until 31 December
Hospitality This new venue is keen to provide VIP packages, but is yet to announce any specific details. The team are working with St John restaurant, however, which means we can expect very good things from the catering.
Eat + drink The Ivy Tower Bridge, Tom Simmons, The Coal Shed

You can even enter our competition to win two free tickets to the production.