by Neil LaBute.
The 90, Park Theatre to 6 August to 6 August 2016.
Tues-Sat 7.45pm Mat Thur & Sat 3.15pm.
Runs 2hr 30 mins One interval.
TICKETS:020 7870 6876.
Review: William Russell 20 July.
Provocative portrait of a predatory male.
Guy, played by Charlie Dorfman, is an academic who has discovered he has a talent for writing and has sold at least one story to Esquire. His subject matter – his own love life.
Guy, a serial quitter, loves Guy and has treated the women in his life very badly indeed, loving and leaving. Now about to marry he has embarked on a trip round the United States to apologise to some of them – ostensibly that is. The resulting four encounters are funny, painful, cruel and sad.
He starts with Sam in Seattle, his high school sweetheart, ditched after two years and now married with children, but still wounded by his behaviour. Then comes Tyler in Chicago, a good time girl who is still up for a good time, but was also abandoned in painful circumstance. The others are Lindsay in Boston, an older woman, wife of one of his colleagues at university, whom he abandoned when their affair became known, and Bobbi in Los Angeles, a smart, sophisticated blond who might just be the one he really regrets losing.
In effect it is four playlets each in a different hotel room – splendid multi purpose set by PJ McEvoy. Guy is a schmuck who gets his comeuppance from at least one of the women, and Dorfman creates a believable self centred, but hugely attractive, hunk of contradictions – repentant but unrepentant and prepared to do it all over again perhaps.
There is a lovely moment when one of them admits to not having read his story when he offers to give her a copy, which is about as thick skinned as you can get. His puzzlement that he did anything wrong really is beautifully conveyed as is his feeling that just perhaps he might have something to apologise for. As the four woman Elly Condron, Roxanne Pallett, Carolyn Backhouse and Carley Stenson, face up to this unwelcome guest from their past beautifully. Condron is possibly the most damaged, clearly in a marriage less successful than it seems, Pallett is bravely spunky, all loose morals but at heart someone who knows she is missing out on love, Backhouse’s revenge is spectacular and she is gloriously cbilly and unsparing, while Stenson, the one who discovers what he is up, is giving him no quarter.
The end leaves Guy facing up to his future and it is not pretty. This first rate revival directed by Gary Condes is vintage LaBute, a man in whom the milk of human kindness curdled long ago.
Guy: Charlie Dorfman.
Lindsay: Carolyn Backhouse.
Sam: Elly Condron.
Tyler: Roxanne Pallett.
Bobbi: Carley Stenson.
Director: Gary Condes.
Set & Costume Design: PJ McEvoy.
Lighting Design: Joe Price.
Sound Design: Andy Hinton.
Dialect Coach: Richard Ryder.