In a Dark Dark House features rare stage performances by David Morrissey and Steven Mackintosh, who play brothers Terry and Drew who are brought together as one undergoes court-ordered rehab. The forced reunion brings to light barely-hidden animosities between the two and their troubled legacy, both inside and outside their dark family home.
The play received its world premiere at Off-Broadway’s MCC Theater in May 2007, but has been reworked by LaBute and director Michael Attenborough for this new production, which also stars Kira Sternbach and runs until 17 January 2009.
Most critics made mention in their reviews of Labute’s admission (via a programme note) that he himself suffered abuse as a child, adding an undoubted pertinence to the play’s central subject. However, for some the lack of distance between the author and his subject was a problem, with the Daily Telegraph’s Charles Spencer finding that Labute “failed to do justice to events that must still be raw in his heart”. The performances of the cast however were almost universally praised, with the “remarkable” turns of David Morrissey and Steven Mackintosh suggesting their return to the stage was worth the wait. And special mention went to designer Lez Brotherston for his “delightfully detailed” garden set.
- by Theo Bosanquet
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