This review from The Guardian captures the mood and spirit of the two plays so well it is worth quoting in full.
"If you didn't know better, you could think this evening was a single dose of the dazzlingly original Caryl Churchill rather than a double bill. When Seagulls begins, you're still trying to process the curious juxtapositions of Far Away as it switches back and forth from a remote farmhouse to a hat-making workshop. It wouldn't be too great a stretch to imagine that the second play, about a woman with fading telekinetic powers, was somehow related.In the video below the director of the production Dominic Hill discusses the plays and their meaning.
If they were related, the common theme would be the place of art in a barbaric world. In Far Away (first seen in 2000), Joan is the new girl at a milliner's who turns out to be a "hat genius". Only gradually does she realise that most of her creations will be destroyed. "You make beauty and it disappears," says her workmate, in awe of the ephemerality of art.
Their labours seem more futile still – and the role of art more precious – when contrasted with the farmhouse where a woman covers up her husband's people-trafficking operation. This innocuous kitchen is a front for the industrial movement of human beings, an idea designer Neil Haynes conveys by loading his set into shipping containers. In Dominic Hill's exquisite production, we see a great mechanical shifting of corrugated metal, accompanied by Scott Twynholm's grinding score, as the scene changes become part of the action.
Churchill's asymmetrical structure amplifies our uneasiness about a world that is not as "far away" as we would like to think. The similar uneasiness in Seagulls (first seen in 1990) is in the possibility that the authorities will hijack the psychic powers of Valery Blair for military ends. Like an artist, she is only as good as her last performance; as the pressure to please becomes debilitating, she yearns for simpler times. It makes for a fascinating, troubling evening."
To the newer audience the plays could come across as a lazy mimicry of Beckett and Pinter , verging from absurdity for absurdity's sake to downright taking the piss out of the audience , that seems to be what two members of the audience who left at the interval never to return seemed to suggest in their uncomfortable vibes.They seem to miss the point that the plays are a challenge for them to think and reflect for themselves rather than have spoonfuls of ready made meals stuffed into them in small contract-industry sized morsels.
In 2009 Caryl Churchill was victim of a surreal campaign from ideological charged Zionist apologists for a fairly innocuous short play reflecting on Israels bombing of Gaza which left over 1400 mostly civilians and innocent Children dead.The whole sorry pantomime of the absurd attacks came from those who were drunk on the noxious fumes of a colonial ideology which made them , at best, do moral gymnastics of their own consciences or to call all those who have a concern and regard to the wrongful slaying of innocent Palestinians ( and the bombing of two charity run Catholic Hospitals) by the Israelis as tarred with the brush of anti-semetism
You can judge for yourself in the performance in the play below:
This comment from the video uploader sums things up nicely:
"Here we go again, the Antisemitic excuse again. Judaisim is NOT equal to Israel, and criticising Israel DOES NOT constitute antisemitism... that what Zionist wish to make it, but the fact remains... WE HAVE THE FREEDOM to criticize a regime, regardless who runs it !"