Detroit

Lisa D'Amour

Detroit

In a suburb of a mid-sized American city, Ben and Mary welcome their new neighbours, Sharon and Kenny, who have moved in to the long-empty house next door. Fuelled by backyard barbecues and booze, their sudden friendship rapidly veers out of control, as inhibitions are obliterated and the fragility of Ben and Mary’s off-the-shelf lifestyle is laid bare. 3.2 out of 5 based on 7 reviews
Detroit

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue National, Cottesloe
Director Austin Pendleton
Cast Will Adamsdale, Justine Mitchell, Stuart McQuarrie, Clare Dunne
From May 2012
Until July 2012
Box Office 020 7452 3000
 

In a suburb of a mid-sized American city, Ben and Mary welcome their new neighbours, Sharon and Kenny, who have moved in to the long-empty house next door. Fuelled by backyard barbecues and booze, their sudden friendship rapidly veers out of control, as inhibitions are obliterated and the fragility of Ben and Mary’s off-the-shelf lifestyle is laid bare.

Reviews

The Sunday Times

Maxie Szakwinska

A nicely timed reminder of the empty feelings that hover around material fulfilment, and how hitting bottom can be a liberation.

20/05/2012

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The Stage

Mark Shenton

Part of me wishes we’d been able to see the American company, which included Laurie Metcalf, as they would have given it an organic sense of naturalism; as it is, the accomplished UK actors feel like they’re commenting on the characters rather than simply playing them in a set of slightly over-eager, over-pitched performances.

16/05/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

The play often seems like an American take on Mike Leigh’s Abigail’s Party and the darker comedies of Alan Ayckbourn in its comic depiction of fraught lives spinning out of control. But it also feels a touch schematic. You guess almost from the outset that the recovering addicts are going to fall off the wagon, while the spectacularly staged climax feels like a somewhat desperate attempt to raise the dramatic stakes. And when an old guy comes on at the end and laments the decline of neighbourly values, you feel the dramatist is ponderously spelling out a point that the audience should have been trusted to make for itself.

16/05/2012

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The Evening Standard

Henry Hitchings

D’Amour finds both comedy and pathos in the decay of the suburbs and the frayed nerves of a sub-prime society. The writing is often deliciously entertaining, but it’s flawed. The late emergence of a fifth character isn’t satisfactory, the laughs become cheaper in the second half, and there’s too much rambling hysteria.

16/05/2012

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The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

We can, of course, get by without a big neon Final Message. But in that case, we need to feel more invested in the journey towards wherever it is that we are going. To say the piece feels directionless might imply a lack of energy, which is not the case; but it does feel rather like the women’s attempted camping trip, full of small events and simply leading after a couple of hours back to the same backyards.

16/05/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

Clare Dunne makes a vivid impression as Sharon, whom she endows with the destructive innocence of an unreconstructed hippie for whom every day is a bright new start. Will Adamsdale as her feckless partner, Justine Mitchell as the alcoholic Mary and Stuart McQuarrie as the comically Anglophile Ben also adjust, more or less convincingly, to the rhythms of American life. But I am puzzled as to the reasons for this particular import.

16/05/2012

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The Daily Mail

Quentin Letts

Some stuff about dreams rather passed me by and a scene of excess becomes a bit noisy but the central message about the importance of good neighbours, or at least of avoiding bad neighbours, is unavoidable. This play pumps out an old-fashioned message about aspiration, communal values – the big society, you might almost call it. Get too close to grungy hippies and you may be lighting up more than a friendship.

16/05/2012

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