02 December 2008

In a Dark Dark House - Almeida Theatre - Monday 1st December 2008


Act One: T two brothers find themselves brought face to face with each other's involvement in their traumatic past. They talk about it. At great length.
Act Two: One of the brothers hits on the daughter of the man who abused them both. They talk. A lot.
Act Three: The brothers try to come to terms with their traumatic past. They shout at each other. For a long time.

Steven Mackintosh - Drew
David Morrissey - Terry
Kira Sternbach - Jennifer

New and improved blog! For my birthday, I've decided to treat you all to all little technological update - something to watch!

An interview with the humungous and frankly quite scary Neil La Bute (author and doughnut lover): http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HqXtMK493YQ

To well-heeled Islington we go on a dark, dark night, where on a short, short street, one may pass as many as 17 estate agents trying to flog very, very expensive houses (although take comfort from the fact that they’ve all become a lot, lot cheaper since you started reading this). The foyer of the Almeida is, as usual, full of Henrys and Jocastas in their smart, smart suits and dead, dead furs. Although night has already fallen, several of them are wearing dark, dark glasses of the Posh Spice “I’m turning into "The Fly” type". Into the auditorium, and Him Indoors and I wedge ourselves into small, small seats, which give those at the Haymarket a run for their money in terms of their non-existent leg room and general comfort level. We have to stand up again several times to let other people past as the majority of the audience are very, very late in taking their seats – presumably so that they can maximise their posing time in the bar with their rich, rich friends and over-awe any MOLOs (Members Of the Lower Orders) who have sold their 85” plasma screen TV’s in order to buy a ticket.

There is a permanent, permanent set of wondrous beauty, representing a small clearing surrounded by tall, tall trees. Indeed, if it weren’t for the park bench, this is the kind of bank across which one might reasonably expect to find fairies having a wild thyme blowing on. “Credit crunch. Peaseblossom? What credit crunch? Me and Mustardseed here are off to Titania’s Bank”. In fact, so pretty was the set that I was to spend a good deal of the duration of the play looking at it.

Two men appear on stage – both trying desperately to hold onto American accents. One of them is vaguely familiar in that “Its him, you know, he was in… thing” kinda way. The other looks like Patrick Keilty. They talk at each other for some considerable time. There seems to have been some kiddy fiddling going on in their past. The Henrys and Jocastas collectively hug themselves with glee. This is so now, so le moment, so Daily Mail; an ideal dinner party conversation topic for lightening the mood after Darius has depressed everyone by maundering on about the size of his bonus this year and how he might have to give up the Maldives next summer if things don’t improve. I count the dandelions on the set.

The lights dim, Patrick Kielty goes off and a small windmill appears at the top of the bank, with one of those little flag markers that indicate the presence of a hole on the grass below. Oh Tarquin, its Crazy Goff. I say – how utterly relevant – its hole 13. Unlucky for some. A young girl in tight shorts comes on, and chats with the vaguely familiar man for a while. He challenges her – if I get a hole in one, we fuck. If I don’t, we don’t. He hits the ball. There is a tense moment. Will he pull it off? Or will he keep it on? Damn, he misses. The audience exhales. What happens, I wonder, if by some stroke of chance, he actually manages a hole in one? Does the play end differently?

The lights dim again. Patrick Kielty comes back on again in a suit. The two men talk. I close my eyes and snooze – I’m not really going to miss anything important. On stage, the two men are shouting at each other. They carry on doing this for a while, then cry and hug, shout a bit more. I drum my fingers on my knee, and watch the fat woman across the aisle (all 18” of it) from me who appears to be having as much fun as I am. She picks at the lid of her coffee container. I know how she feels.

The lights dim again. The three actors take the stage and bow. Some twat at the back shouts “Bwavo, bwavo!” in a loud voice. I wonder whether he’s enjoyed the last hour and 45 minutes of deep, deep psychological torment with its powerful catharsis and themes of forgiveness, or whether he’s just relieved its all over and he can get back home and finish the Sauvignon. We wander out into the dark, dark night. I scandalise one of the Henrys by constructing a sentence containing the words “dreary, pretentious wank”. Hey, this show’s running until mid-January. Shall we come and see the Christmas Eve performance? No, lets not. Lets stay at home and slash our wrists. It’ll be so much cheaper that way.

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