Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Treat yourself

I have been meaning to recommend 'Treats' for weeks now. But it took an offer in yesterday's thelondonpaper for £15 seats to remind me.

The story evolves around three very ordinary people bickering their way in and out of love. There is Anne (Billie Piper), an indecisive woman who can't help falling for the wrong men; Dave (Kris Marshall, who will forever be remembered as the geeky guy from 'Love Actually'), her dominating and abusive ex; and Anne's nice-but-dull current squeeze, Patrick (Laurence Fox, fresh from 'Becoming Jane' fame).

Christopher Hampton wrote 'Treats' in 1975, apparently as a response to Ibsen's, 'A Doll's House', reasoning that there were as many women trapped in destructive relationships in the 1970s as there had been in Ibsen's 1870s. And while the theme is a bit tired, it does make points about our addictive and self-damaging habits.

The script is the high point including some great quips: Patrick is shamed as "a bore of international reputation." But it was Billie's character that I most enjoyed. Both in her own impassioned attack of her bully-boy ex: "Well, what's there to say? Except that for two and half years you bullied and terrorized me to such an extent I could hardly open my mouth. I didn't dare to have an opinion you hadn't approved about anything. My friends pitied me and your friends despised me." And in his attack of her obstinacy: "It's possible to disagree with someone about the ethics of non-violence without wanting to kick his face in."

As all three actors have come from television roles, it ends up playing the closest theatre gets to soap opera. But I would recommend it to anyone curious about self-damaging relationships: if, in fact, damaged is not our collective experience. One of the many things I pondered long after the curtain call.

For best available tickets @£15:
phone: 0870 890 1104
quote: thelondonpaper offer

Garrick Theatre, until 26 May


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really recommend this in the same way. Great show. I sat in the pub next door wondering exactly the same.

5:50 pm  
Anonymous Claire said...

oohhh £15 a steal

Will ring now

5:52 pm  
Anonymous dam breaker said...

Really? I thought it got rubbished?

5:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh, but the reviews were thumbs down?

5:56 pm  
Anonymous honkman said...

Not a treat at all. Waste of bloody time actually. A punishment, if you will.

Kris Marshall’s character was very, very good. The acting by all 3 was good, but I’m only saying that because the direction, dialogue and visuals were so bad that everything else in comparison seemed like much needed dangling carrots.

They spoke so fast through the whole thing that there was very little chance for them to show any emotion therefore I couldn’t get attached to any of them.

I don’t care if Christopher Hampton has won millions of awards - this could have been so, so much better.

The best thing about it was sitting drinking shandy in the pub next door with Billie Piper and Lawrence Fox before it started – a complete accident due to space shortage, but they were lovely all the same. I need to go and see another one now to shake off the bad experience.

6:02 pm  
Anonymous hels said...

A chance to see Doctor Who's biggest disgrace live. No thanks.

6:24 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The cast hangs out in pub next door beforehand cuz of Piper's stage fright. Talking to them was much more interesting than the play. I feel asleep in the second hlaf until Billie cried like she was being beaten. Which I wish she had been.

6:25 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does she take her kit off like Harry Potter?

6:39 pm  
Anonymous Heartybowl said...

Doesn't sound like one to take the missus too dont think. Why whenever there is something on telly about couples arguing does it always end up in a real-time argument? Somebody explain that one. Is it just that women take nay excuse to lay into us? One for the ladies.

6:41 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sounds liek my kind of theatre

thanks cs!

6:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Funny, I always think of Kris Marshall as the tw*t from My Family ... and those crap BT ads

12:48 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

just booked...ta sweetheart

4:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate Billie Piper

No chance

3:56 pm  

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