FROM 2002 The Royal Court assembled their dream team: the acting prowess of Sir Michael Gambon and Daniel Craig, who plays Paul Newman's son in The Road to Perdition, the director Stephen Daldry and the writer Caryl Churchill. Director and author are repeating the partnership forged in Far Away.
Lennie James and Paapa Essiedu play the father Salter and three of his batch of cloned sons. The very act of cloning is in itself a challenge to the sense of self and individuality for these men. The first one we meet wants to know if he is the first but his father doesn't tell the truth. Salter, the father, talks about litigation and suing someone for the loss of identity. He implies that the cloning of "a number" was carried out without his consent.
Even without Andy getting up to his paradoxical tricks, quarter-hours have not latterly had a good press, vis "un mauvais quart d'heure". Lasting 17 minutes straight through, What If If Only - the latest piece by Caryl Churchill, is the polar opposite of "un mauvais quart d'heure". It packs a wealth of suggestion in its brief allotted span. And the wonder of it is that it does so with an elating lightness of touch.