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Bluets

by Maggie Nelson, adapted by Margaret Perry

Directed by Katie Mitchell

Royal Court Theatre, London

June 2024

Jodi and I review Bluets at the Royal Court theatre in London.

Bluets is a dramatisation of American writer Maggie Nelson’s poetic memoir, adapted by playwright Margaret Perry, and directed by Katie Mitchell. The production boasts a starry cast including Ben Whishaw, Emma D’Arcy and Kayla Meikle.

Maggie Nelson’s book is a collection of 240 brief paragraphs, sometimes as short as a single sentence, which chronicle her obsession with the colour blue. Her choice of the colour blue chimes with the psychological exploration that she also undertakes in writing the book, because she records and assesses her response to her heartbreaking breakup with an unnamed lover. The fragments that make up the book include wide-ranging and fascinating references to the expression of the colour blue in art, music, and nature. It is a moving personal, philosophical and poetic monologue.

It is certainly a challenging piece to turn into stage drama. The result is a distinctive theatrical event.

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