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A Real Humane Person Who Cares & All That

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
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This elongatedly-titled comedy comes from the pen of one of this year's hottest writers - Adam Brace, a former journalist whose site-specific Iraq war drama Stovepipe garnered great acclaim earlier this year.

A Real Humane Person..., which predates Stovepipe, is set in an un-specified Asian country, where three British writers have disappeared after seeking out a local execution. As the British ambassador Francis (Benjamin Peters) pleas with local ex-pat Gerry (Daniel McGowan) to negotiate a release, the Embassy staff seem more concerned with their own careers and office affairs.

It takes some time to get going. The initial exchanges between Francis, Gerry and Gerry's French wife (Tiffany Wood) drop you straight into the action, but without an explanatory parachute. It takes some time to find your bearings, and by the time you have the action shifts to the British Embassy.

The cast of three are strong, and clearly relish the opportunity to explore a range of roles - from sloaney writers to office wideboys - during the play's 60-minute running time. But in truth Brace's dialogue doesn't really spark until central scene, a flashback which depicts the writers on the eve of their visit to the execution.

At it's best, A Real Humane Person... is sharply observed and at times very funny, but it's let down by some muddled early exposition, which means its central message gets rather lost along the way.


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