Opens: 23/05/2013 Closes: 29/06/2013 Hampstead Theatre, LondonA white man is accused of raping a black woman; a black and a white lawyer grapple over the case. David Mamet's concise drama scrutinises the attendant issues, gaining mixed reviews on its Broadway debut in 2009, where James Spader and Eddie Izzard had a go in lead roles. This UK premiere is directed by Olivier award-winner Terry Johnson. For more information visit: http://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2012/main-stage-race/ Buy: http://www.hampsteadtheatre.com/whats-on/2012/main-stage-race/
Time Out“Race’ is a forceful but pathologically shallow night...” This is not to lay the blame with director Terry Johnson or his cast: indeed, Peters invests his character, Henry, with a battered humanity and gentleness he scarcely deserves. But he’s the only one who rises above the painfully rhetorical...
The Telegraph“There is a genuine shock factor in the discussion of race...” The play crams myriad ideas and provocations into its 80-minute running time but leaves its audience seriously undernourished when it comes to emotional depth...
Guardian“The play is moderately entertaining...” But structurally, the play recalls Mamet's much earlier Speed-the-Plow, in which a taken-for-granted woman outwits her male associates. Mamet still knows how to write, but is infinitely better at satirising the law than laying it down...
Whatsonstage.com“It's a bleak, uncomfortable message...” And one expounded in a brutalised language that is deliberately drained of Mamet's more usual zing, rollicking rhythm and irresistible swagger. There's nothing of joy in this piece. You want joy? Go see a musical...
The Stage“It’s a compelling, heated, toxic mix but also a heavily abstracted one...” Mamet appears to have started with all the many themes and ideas this inflammatory subject throws up before properly fleshing his characters out and it is hard to see his people as much more than smart and articulate mouthpieces...
The Independent“The play, which proceeds as a series of blunt assertions and accusations...” Disappointingly bereft of Mamet’s trademark jazz swing and savvy, street-wise humour, hinges on whether or not Lawson and Brown will take the case, and this depends on whether or not Strickland is guilty...
Evening Standard“It’s confrontational without being truly challenging...” Mamet’s dialogue has always had a distinctive terseness. Yet here the writing often rings hollow, sacrificing authenticity as it strains for a rhetorical style that is (intentionally) pedantic and (perhaps less intentionally) repetitive...
Review and recommend
77% 3 Winters