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While You Lie

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Sam Holcroft’s new play doesn’t pull its punches. It’s a merciless look at two disintegrating relationships with a side plate of sexual violence and an induced pregnancy before the husband immediately rapes the mother.

I’m not sure whether to recommend eating before or after the show. Either way, for all its shock value, Holman is saying something truthful and probably uncomfortable about sex and marriage: we never know when to say when, nor when to say never again.

Zinnie Harris’ production is a quadrille of queasiness: Ana (Claire Lams), the immigrant secretary, cops off with the boss (Steven McNicoll), on the rebound from her persistent boyfriend (Andrew Scott-Ramsay), who in turn mixes it, out of revenge, with the boss’s pregnant wife (Pauline Knowles).

The plot is stirred by the incursion of a slimy plastic surgeon (Leo Wringer) raising corporate sponsorship for disfigured Third World children and offering genital cosmetology to the gentry. Some play, some topic, some black and bilious comedy.


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