Neil LaBute: Plays 2
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‘LaBute takes us to shadowy places we don’t like to talk about, sometimes even to think about.’ Newsday
Obsession with surface and secrets runs through this second collection of Neil LaBute’s work.
The Shape of Things peels back the skin of modern-day relationships to ask how far someone might change themselves for love, or for art. In Fat Pig, a man confronts his friends’ – and his own – fixation with Hollywood ideals of beauty when he falls for a ‘plus size’ young woman. In a Dark Dark House and In a Forest, Dark and Deep are twin tales of sibling conflict. In the first, estranged brothers must reconcile conflicting memories, after one asks for corroboration of childhood abuse. In the second, a man’s offer to help his sister clear out her cottage brings a terrible confession into the light.
The Shape of Things
‘What initially seems a touching study of student romance develops instead into a passionate discussion about the way art feeds on life.’ Daily Telegraph
‘As large as Helen is, the tender heart of the play is easily twice as big.’ Variety
In a Dark Dark House
‘LaBute toys with expectations and takes pleasure in our discomfort… The play does lead to a pretty dark place – but the ending is not without hope.’ Daily Mail
In a Forest, Dark and Deep
‘It is billed as being about sibling rivalry, but in fact majors on far deeper, dangerous things: the yearning to be understood, female manipulation, and fascinated male disgust at a sister’s lurid sexuality.’ The Times
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