Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Review: HAVE I NONE, Golden Goose Theatre

Edward Bond's 2000 play revived in an uncompromising staging

Review: HAVE I NONE, Golden Goose Theatre Review: HAVE I NONE, Golden Goose Theatre 2077 and consumerism is dead, the backlash so all-encompassing that society has broken down, mass suicide is a public spectacle and the past is obliterated by law.

Outside, a paramilitary police force keep what passes for order and inside, a husband and wife bicker about their only possessions, two chairs and a table. A third party arrives having walked from a Northern enclave bearing an (illegal) photograph. He claims to be the wife's brother.

And then... not much happens. More bickering, more violence, more dystopian tropes leaking in from outside, but Edward Bond's avant garde play has the same problem of so many to which that descriptor applies - is it deep and thrillingly opaque or shallow and self-indulgently tedious? That decision is in the eye of the beholder, dependent to some extent on how hard they are prepared to push past the sparring, the shouting and the squabbling to mine the black comedy, the critique of 21st century life and the referencing to other works buried within the play. I certainly caught a nod or two towards Eugène Ionesco's The Chairs, revived last year at The Almeida - there'll be more for sure.

Director, Lewis Frost, refuses to sugar-coat Bond's text and staging. Just the aforementioned furniture, the "brother's" backpack and a splintery crate relieve the black box space with only a door, knocked on from time to time, to suggest that there's anything out there at all. Abigail Stone, Brad Leigh and Paul Brayward commit to their roles, Stone suggesting the woman's hopelessness, Leigh her husband's amoral stubbornness and Brayward a kind of Baldrick figure, but without a plan, cunning or otherwise.

First performed in 2000 and intermittently revived since, this may be one for Bond's hardcore fans only.

Have I None is at the Golden Goose Theatre until 28 January

Photo Credit: Francesco Codardo

Review: WASTED, Lyric Hammersmith Photo
Running at around 50 minutes, it’s snappy and positively Gen-Z in pace and subject. Fernandes crafts a script that wanders from deliciously colloquial to slightly expository, but remains solid throughout. Mundane conversations about parties and cleaning rotas act as the foundation for the pair’s bond, which is bound to be tested and tried once Jacob’s actions are revealed. At its core, it’s a story of friendship and loyalty camouflaged as a crime drama exploring the stigmatisation of sexual violence.

Photos: First Look At English National Operas THE DEAD CITY (DIE TOTE STADT) Photo
See production images for the English National Opera's The Dead City (Die tote Stadt), running 25 March - 8 April 2023.

Review: OF MICE AND MEN, Birmingham Rep Photo
John Steinbeck's 1937 novel, set in California during the Great Depression, may be a period piece, but the parallels with current life in the UK are unmistakable. Dealing with themes of poverty, displacement, prejudice and the desperation for independence, Of Mice and Men makes a timely return to the Birmingham Rep stage in this new production directed by Iqbal Khan.

The story of Sweeney Todd first appeared on the stage in London in 1847 at Britannia Theatre, Hoxton, in a melodrama, 'The String of Pearls', based on a popular “penny dreadful” serialised story.

From This Author - Gary Naylor

Gary Naylor is chief London reviewer for BroadwayWorld ( and feels privileged to... (read more about this author)

Review: KILLING THE CAT, Riverside StudiosReview: KILLING THE CAT, Riverside Studios
March 23, 2023

Existential questions abound in world premiere of a musical that does not make the fur fly

March 22, 2023

Taut and razor-sharp verbatim adaptation of a famous debate from the 60s is entertaining and enlightening

Review: LEAVING VIETNAM, Park TheatreReview: LEAVING VIETNAM, Park Theatre
March 21, 2023

Richard Vergette's one-man play is never less than engaging, but one wonders why here and why now?

Review: MACBETH, Southwark Playhouse BoroughReview: MACBETH, Southwark Playhouse Borough
March 17, 2023

Flabbergast Theatre take a bold approach to a familiar play and hit and miss along the way

Review: GUYS & DOLLS, Bridge TheatreReview: GUYS & DOLLS, Bridge Theatre
March 16, 2023

As perfectly realised a revival as one could ever hope to see, full honour paid to both the incomparable source material and the times in which we live now