BASH To 17 June
by Neil LaBute.
Barons Court Theatre at The Curtain’s Up 28a Comeragh Road W14 9HR to 17 June 2012.
Tue–Sat 7.45pm Sun 6.45.
Runs 2 hr Two intervals.
TICKETS: 020 8932 4747.
Review: William Russell 5 June.
Killing people. Have you the stomach for it?!
These three short plays by Neil LaBute, directed by Olivia Rowe, are about killing people. In the first, Iphigenia in Orem, a Mormon salesman (James Le Feuvre) has dragged someone back to his hotel room from the bar and is intent in telling the listener, who remains unseen, how his baby daughter died, apparently smothered under the quilt of the marital bed where the child had been left asleep, while the parents were elsewhere. It is obvious from the start that he killed the child, but the thing that matters is why he did it, and, when it is revealed, it’s truly chilling.
In the second, A Gaggle of Saints, a young Mormon couple, college students, (Le Feuvre and Faye Winter) go with two other couples (also unseen) to a college do in New York. While the women sleep the men go off to Central Park for some fresh air. A man is killed. It is about repressed homosexuality – after the killing one of the three asks the man who instigated the assault why he kissed the man they kicked to death. His girlfriend remains unaware of what has happened. The man then does something completely shocking.
In the third a young woman (Winter), seduced at thirteen by her school teacher, fourteen years later, gets her revenge by killing what the man loves – a child.
LaBute’s view of humanity – and Mormons – is not exactly cheering, but he can write splendid speeches and the two actors involved deliver them very well indeed, creating wholly believable, everyday folk behind whose wholesome surfaces lurks a monster.
The plays are basically monologues, although in the middle one the two monologues are more of a counterpoint affair than solos. Everything that happens is, in the killer’s view, justified, the logical thing to do in the circumstances. Nice meaty stuff.
Cast: James Le Feuvre, Faye Winter.
Director: Olivia Rowe.
Designer: David Shields.
Lighting: Rhys Thomas.
Costume: Sophie Evelyn.