Marx In Soho

Howard Zinn
The Marx Sisters / Nu Sass Productions
PQA Venues @Riddle’s Court
to

“Spread the word, Marx is back for a short while.”

So says Mary Myers, in her role as a passionate often funny Karl Marx, allowed to return for an eighty-minute chat about his family, political struggle and current events.

Pacing about the room, he recalls writing his objections to censorship in the Rheinische Zeitung, which so impressed the German government they shut it down, sending Marx on the run from country to country, till he found himself in poverty living in London.

His wife Jenny Marx says the authorities were less bothered by later work such as Capital because they couldn’t understand it. She even suggests a briefer, catchier version, of his theory of surplus value.

There is an affectionate account of his daughter Tussy, who even as a child was at times a very witty and effective critic.

Mary Myers vividly and easily morphs into a whole gallery of characters conjured up by Marx, from his close friend Engels, to the huge anarchist Bakunin, who used to pop round for a meal.

The mood of Howard Zinn’s play from 1999 is upbeat, hopeful and generally amusing, but it never loses sight of the suffering of those who create the wealth that is cruelly stolen from them. This is a very fine, entertaining performance.

Marx should return more often.

Reviewer: Keith Mckenna