A Painful Scratch
The Pain and the Itch, hyped as 'liberal-baiting satire', aims to expose the progressive middle-class left-wing as just as angst-ridden money driven and hypocritical as their right-wing counterparts. The sort of conclusion one comes to after a dinner party of champagne socialists in Nappy Valley. The only problem is that at the theatre you have paid to feel possessed by a painful itch to fling yourself in their midst and knock heads together, or at least take one of the set's available golf clubs to its flat screen TV.
The harshest satire comes not from the stage, however, but from what the Royal Court failed to achieve. The theatre's new direction is ostensibly aimed at 'discovering the middle-class hero' - in short: people like us. But what we actually see on stage are people you wouldn't want to know. The whole idea of satire as a mirror to the audience is lost. Give me an extraordinary, moving and ethically worrying docudrama put together by the fast-rising edgy playwright Dennis Kelly (of last year's brilliant 'Love and Money') any day. It's just a shame any day ends Saturday.
Cheap Ticket offer:
£7.50 seats available for 'Taking Care of Baby'
22 June (tomorrow night) performance only, 7:30pm
Call 020 7722 9301; quote £7.50 offer