A New Play
Throughout the first part of Katty Pearce’s comically disconcerting play the body of a dead girl is lying on a coffee table while two men in evening wear play snappy word-games of dominance and submission. One seems to be the demanding employer of the other, and it is a long time before they even refer to the corpse in their midst, though it is later identified (wrongly) as the submissive man’s wife.
We gradually learn to take none of the information on trust, and Pearce leads us into an unnerving world of necrophilia that becomes increasingly funny.
It may be thought such a tabooed subject ought not to occasion mirth but, if nothing else, Pearce’s play shows that a moral ‘ought’ has no place in the creation of comedy.
Her writing is bracingly inventive, with a fondness for the unexpected;
Benet Catty’s direction is impressively assured; and the acting is first-class, with Rhydian Jones and Chris Vincent flicking insults and dreadful proposals at each other with a fine relish for the words, and Miranda Keeling, the real wife, proving as adept as them in the cynical skirmishes of sex.
Jeremy Kingston, Times Critic & Festival Judge