But before you start imagining this production purely as a gritty ball of sleazy seduction and weak-willed submission, it must be said that Rabid managed to effectively bring out the nuances of Hare’s writing, so that at the time of watching, I laughed at The Student’s awkwardness and The Model’s drug-fuelled aloofness, at The Playwright’s pretentious waste of words and The Aristocrat’s whimsical dreaming. It is only later, when the meal has been guzzled, that indigestion sets in. The only character, indeed, that I didn’t laugh at was The Girl: the prostitute, the eye-witness to humankind’s inherent base nature, played fantastically by Harriet Madeley, who seemed to hold in her lovely eyes all the misery of humanity witnessed in the play.
The players all managed very effectively to characterise their role, so effectively in fact that I felt they were let down by the slightly awkward and unnecessary changes of scene after each duologue. The quality of the acting would have sufficed to set each new situation, casting aside the need for a loud change of set and props that broke up the single scene play and consequentially the audience’s involvement in it. I did however like the musical interludes - particularly the very fitting and original ‘Something Stupid’, which added to the irony of the situation. This was a bold, brave performance with some great acting that I recommend you catch at least once before its week is up.