6 June 2005 WOS Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Love is blind. It has to be. Hence the common phenomena of odd couples in which smart, ambitious and (in this case, thank goodness) feisty young women find themselves with self-obsessed, albeit talented, whinging wimps. A biased view? Maybe. But, judging by the reactions of the audience at on the night I attended – gasping at key points, bursting into cheers at the stunningly swift twist of a classic denouement – I am not alone. Chimps
The piece is set in the shambolic new home of Markie (
Domnhall Gleeson) and newly pregnant Stevie ( Claire Lams), where Dick Bird’s set has the usual Playhouse attention to detail - despite the distracting night-time outdoors teamed with an afternoon interior.
When salesmen come knocking at the young couple’s door, both sides end up playing good cop, bad cop. Even if I overheard whispered references to Pinter (as well there might be - these two salesmen, Lawrence and Gabriel whiff of
The Birthday Party’s Goldberg and McCann), there’s no denying that playwright Simon Block has a few tricks of his own up his sleeve. Chimpanzees apparently are most dangerous when their grins are widest; Block suggests that’s true of humans, too.
won Block the Guild New Writer of the Year award in 1997, Chimps Wilson Milam’s production feels up-to-the-minute current. The two men charm and smarm their way in, overflowing with bonhomie and patter, especially when more sinister undercurrents surface.
Dapper Gabriel (
Chuk Iwuji) is a salesman to the tip of his toes, and his elegant shoes surely conceal cloven hooves. He goes down fighting all right, still trying to close the deal. By contrast, Lawrence ( Michael Attwell) is everybody’s favourite uncle. Loquacious, bluff, yet vulnerable in his own way. Between these two, divide and conquer is the rule, carried out to an extent which is as inevitable as it is grim.
- Carole Baldock
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