Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES Power Games

Magazine article The Spectator

CULTURE NOTES Power Games

Article excerpt

Plays used to end in marriage. Then they anatomised the highs and lows of life as a couple. Now - at least in Neil LaBute's latest London premiere - the relationships are all either over or heading that way fast.

Rea son s to Be Pretty (A lmeida , until 14 January) gives a spot-on depiction of those no-man's-land months following a break-up, when relations between exes are loaded with an electric ambiguity, and contradictory feelings alternate with bewildering rapidity. After an apocalyptic row in the first scene, estranged Greg and Steph keep bumping into each other about town. Tom Burke lets us see that Greg's innocent exterior masks both genuine warmth and an irresistible urge to keep on needling; while Sian Brooke's Steph poignantly fails to break out of the idiom of rage when acknowledging a kindness. …

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