Royal Court Theatre Upstairs, London SW1
Opened 5 December, 1991

Gary Tanner's design acknowledges recent cannibalistic fads by decking stage and cast in Greenaway green. Elsewhere, too, this last play in Isitt's "underbelly of heterosexual relationships" trilogy carries its influences heavily. Basic bodily activities (eating and fucking) fall into rhymed Berkoffian verse; a Pinteresque speech here, a Buñuel image there... even (am I getting carried away?) duplicitous bastard Ken's favourite dish is lamb. The main source, however, is ire at the law's gender imbalance: ex Hilary and current wife Laura wonder (in a duologue careering between eerie chimes and dull tub-thumping) whether they're allowed to stiff their husband just because he's boring – though there's more than boredom to the stagnant domestic futility presented here.

Beverley Klein's Hilary grows positively troll-like with malevolence; Isitt pouts to the point of crystalline fatigue as Laura; Mark Kilmurry's mime skills are accommodated by a grotesque two-speed two-timing sequence. Yet Snarling Beasties' confidence in their stage skills is counterbalanced by a script that, after the dark glories of Punch And Judy and Femme Fatale, is a bit thin. This kind of diet we don't need.

Written for City Limits magazine.

Copyright © Ian Shuttleworth; all rights reserved.

Return to index of reviews for the year 1991

Return to master reviews index

Return to main theatre page

Return to Shutters homepage