When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other
Martin Crimp’s searing exploration of gender roles, sexual domination and violence, inspired by Samuel Richardson’s Pamela.
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Go on then: lock the doors and see what happens. Show me how much power you really have.
When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other breaks through the surface of contemporary debate to explore the messy, often violent nature of desire and the fluid, complicated roles that men and women play.
Using Samuel Richardson’s novel Pamela as a provocation, six characters act out a dangerous game of sexual domination and resistance.
When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other premiered at the National Theatre, London, in January 2019.
Crimp’s dialogue, and their pin-sharp performances, are constantly mutating . . . the writing constantly intrigues, while also being surprisingly just quite fun.
Together, Mitchell and Crimp complicate the power dynamics, weaving a web of gender relations, seniority, authorship and financial clout. Brandishing a sandwich in one hand and a strap-on in the other, "When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other" begs the most slippery questions of consent.
Katie Mitchell's brave, unflinching production is always aware of how the aggressive sex here is informed by modern gender politics – and maybe judged by it. It is also eerily, and disturbingly, convincing.
The matter of how one actually tells a story is intrinsic to the original work. Crimp sharpens the focus until it becomes a kind of pervy verbal fencing match between individuals.
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