Martin Crimp’s hyper naturalistic dialogue could, in a lesser company’s hands, seem portentous but here each repetition and arch silence is delicately delivered with an integrity that makes these pronouncements compelling. Simon Thorp as Richard, the black hole each woman orbits, smoulders nicely doing as much as he can with a purely reactionary character.
But it is the women who are the stars here. Amanda Root whose flashing eyes and occasionally clipped hysteria alone reveal Corinne’s all encompassing desperation and Naomi Wattis as the volatile Rebecca, a rolling hipped wounded animal of a girl, whose lashing out does nothing to hide her vulnerability, give truly commanding performances.
Anna Bliss Scully’s sparse design makes us feel like we are peering in through glass windows at this implosion of safe family values and one gets the distinct impression that we are surgical students being shown how to perform a dissection. We are in a place of acute voyeuristic pain but there seems to also be a sense of instruction in the spaces around each cut. But there are no clean lessons to be learnt at the end of these demonstrations, only the experience of the potent moment to moment conquests and losses that make up our existence.
- Honour Bayes