|The Pain and the Itch is a new satire by Bruce Norris - I think it premiered in NY and it is now at the Royal Court. Man, it's hilarious - hilarious and disturbing which is an excellent combination. A child has a rash, something has been gnawing on the avocados and the housekeeper may or may not be stealing the bread ($12 a loaf organic fig and nut!).
On Thanksgiving day, two brothers, one a househusband and one a plastic surgeon get together and try to figure out the rash and the rodent infestation. A family united as lefty liberal Democrats fall out spectacularly when the fears and prejudices hidden behind their liberal masks emerge.
Very much worth the trip. I bought the script right after just to catch some of the killer writing. Reads well.
It's been extended to 4 August.
Enchantment is at the National and man, it's probably not worth the trip. I hate that I didn't love it, it being by a woman playwright from the 1860's (Victoria Benedistsson) (and updated by another woman - Clare Bayley) but I didn't. A small-town girl goes to Paris, is effortly romanced by a famous but declining artist and falls badly, badly in love - like when you are 17 in love. Titanic style.
She squanders her fortune to stay in Paris just to be near this artist who only promises never to be faithful. She is convinced by the artist's ex and her friends to return home where the provincial life bores her to tears. She receives a letter from the artist and returns to Paris to see him. She says goodbye and kills herself.
And the playwright, after having a disastrous love affair in Paris and after completing this play committed suicide too.
Interesting back story but just because she offed herself it doesn't make it a great play. It's a psychologicial play with some interesting points about love and commitment made with more thought than Sex in the City, but really just covering the same old ground.
Benedictsson was the inspiration for Miss Julie in Strindberg's play.