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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke


🎭 Her Green Hell

📍 The Drum, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2TR

🗓 Tuesday 21st May 2024



There's no hanging about with Her Green Hell, currently playing in The Drum at Theatre Royal Plymouth. The play opens right in the action as it's been a full day since a horrific plane crash and our protagonist is still alive. Alive but injured and alone in the middle of the Peruvian rainforest.

I have really conflicted feelings about this piece. Some aspects were utterly compelling but there were also times when I felt completely disconnected and recognised that my mind was wondering.

One thing that is extraordinary about the show is the writing. I enjoyed just how descriptive the story was, although I often couldn't help thinking that it would work much better as a radio play. It may sound like an unusual thing to say but I genuinely think just hearing the words would have allowed me to immerse myself into the story more and not be distracted by what was happening in front of me. Because the writing was so beautiful I felt that a radio play would've allowed me to bathe in the beauty of the words more and let my imagination submerse me into the story.

The piece was performed by Sophie Kean who did a great job, especially when she was allowed to emotionally throw herself into it. However it seemed to begin as if she was telling the story of what had happened to her and then slowly transitioned to her living the story. This seemed like a bit of a strange direction decision to me. At the start it was almost as if the character was too excitable and jumping around a lot. As the story developed and the tone of performance changed to the lived experience, it was much easier to connect with the character and she seemed much more sincere, believable and relatable.

Both the lighting and the sound design in this production were superb. As a bit of a technical theatre nerd I felt that these both enhanced the story impeccably, often adding the tension and suspense.

The true story being told is absolutely fascinating but I just couldn't help but feel that there was something missing and I couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. I think maybe because of the way the character was introduced to us, almost upbeat in the storytelling, I took a bit of a dislike to her and although I did warm to her this felt like a strange creative choice to me.

I always say though that the strongest part of any production has to be the story and as previously stated the central story here is captivating and will be the thing that audiences will focus on and remember. Emma Howlett is an exquisite wordsmith and the detail in the story is incredible.

I struggled with where to land with a star rating on this one but felt that three was the fairest given my opposing feelings about the play.

Her Green Hell continues performances at Theatre Royal Plymouth until Saturday 25th May. Click here for tickets.

Neill Kovacic-Clarke

All views are my own and I pride myself on being honest, fair and free from influence. Theatre is subjective and it is important to remember that all views expressed are just those of one reviewer. 

My ticket for this performance of Her Green Hell was gifted by the Theatre Royal Plymouth who invited me to watch the show in exchange for my honest review. The fact that my ticket was gifted played no part in the content of my review or the star rating given.


Performer: Sophie Kean

Writer: Emma Howlett

Producer: TheatreGoose

Set / Costumes: Eleanor Wintour

Lighting Design: Edward Saunders

Sound Design: Sarah Spencer

RUNNING TIME (approx):

1 hour, with no interval


Descriptions of plane crash and graphic injury

The Theatre Royal Plymouth is the principle home of the performing arts in the South West and is the largest and most attended regional producing theatre in the country. Their mission is to develop and deepen people's engagement with pioneering creativity in Plymouth and the South West, delivering experiences that spark delight, expression and fulfilment. The venue offers three performance spaces of various sizes, the largest being The Lyric which accommodates the big touring productions. The Drum and The Lab are smaller, intimate spaces and often offer pioneering productions.


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