Review: The God Of Carnage, Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich, until September 21
- Credit: Archant
The God Of Carnage, by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, Megabrill Productions, Sir John Mills Theatre, Ipswich, until September 21 2013
The pitfalls of marriage and parenting are many and varied, particularly in the matter of one child’s relationship to another. Yasmina Reza brings together two sets of parents whose sons have had a set-to in the park. Veronica and Michael Vince’s son is the injured party and Annette and Alan Reece are invited to discuss the way forward. They meet in the Vince’s home so Veronica takes charge anxious that they all practice ‘the art of co-existence’ and solve their problems in a civilised manner.
The veneer of middle class civility falls apart almost immediately. With the help of a lap top, Veronica (strongly portrayed by Jayne Lindill) starts off in headmistress mode, setting out events in terms they can all agree on supported by Michael (Philip Steward who gives a wonderfully ‘wavering’ performance). The words ‘armed with a stick’ do not go down well with the Reeces (Petra Risbridger and Mike Cook portray a couple with little in common) and in spite of coffee and Veronica’s ‘Clafouti’ (a French dessert) husbands and wives begin to change sides. With the help of a bottle of rum all four spew out deeply held resentments not just between the two couples but each one changing marital liaisons, point by point. Both marriages begin to look decidedly shaky and as the arguments rage ever more bitterly the dilemma of their children pales beside their own self interest.
Such was the characterisation that it seemed Veronica and Alan would make the better couple and it was to be wondered how either marriage had got as far as it had, given the carnage that results in a single evening.
Sometimes the dialogue seemed over eager to encapsulate all of life’s dilemmas but the four players gave solid performances. Supported by Megabrill’s directorJohn Hood and producer Tony Flack the company gave us a good evening’s entertainment with some wry laughter along the way.
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