This play is not what it seems. Like Pinter's "No Man's Land" it dramatises the writing of the play itself. Henry is just the black version of Jack, created to say the things that white Jack, and white Mamet, can't say. Together they are the intellect of the playwright, dealing with a walk-off-the-street client who appears to represent dramatic inspiration and desire. He is also part of the same character - the character of the playwright. They are all facets of the person - the fictional playwright, mulling ideas over in his head, trying to write a play. It is of course about race but it's about the human race mainly. How we all have defence lawyers beavering away in our minds trying to defend our desires. The play presents the anatomisation of our defence mechanisms, covering the tracks of our desires. Red sequins indicate the underlying desire - sexual desire is the chorus line of art. Something like that. Okay?
I loved this play. The fact that the older man was the junior partner worked because it implied that his career may have been marred by racism as well. There were several twists in the plot and the acting and direction were superb with Jasper Britton in particular giving a tour de force performance, Clarke Peters conveying the quiet dignity and authority of his character and Nina Toussaint White impressive as Susan. The play is not just about racism but sexism too. Both the men treat Susan like a secretary rather than a qualified lawyer, sending her out to give the client a magazine or fetch a partner's briefcase. Terry Johnson moves the actiion along at a cracking pace and keeps the momentum going in this gripping production. Ignore the critics luke warm reviews and book a ticket.