GOD of Carnage is one of the longest running productions of the decade on Broadway.
And it’s easy to see why. It is filled with witty dialogue, fleeting moments of tenderness and catfights to boot.
God of Carnage, written by Yasmina Reza and directed by Emma Lucia, is set in the aftermath of a fight between two young boys in a park.
Veronica and Michael, Annette and Alan, their affluent, liberal parents, meet to discuss the matter in a reasonable way.
At first pleasantries are exchanged but as the meeting progresses tensions build and more primal instincts take over.
Veteran actor Philip Bretherton is excellent as Alan, a cynical workaholic lawyer who is constantly on his mobile defending a dicey pharmaceutical company.
He clashes with do-gooder Veronica, but when she finally lets rip he amusingly quips “I’m beginning to like you.”
The audience may be inclined to agree that uptight Veronica, brilliantly portrayed by Jenny Livsey, does become more likeable as she starts to unravel.
Her husband Michael, played by Richard Elfyn starts as the would-be pacifier, tip toeing around his wife’s demands – until he gets the rum out
Catrin Aaron takes on the part of Annette, a ‘wealth manager’ frustrated with her husband’s lack of attention.
The play, which has won an Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in London and three Tonys, including Best Play, on Broadway, sees the women temporarily unite against the men and vice versa.
But none of the characters are particularly endearing and do not encourage the audience to ‘take sides’. However, they are, each in their own way, entertaining.
The 80 minute performance is a caustic and brilliantly comic examination of middle class values and relationships with a first-class cast. The audience laughed and occasionally squirmed as they related to the couples’ quirks and arguments.
Reza is a French actress, novelist, screenwriter and playwright.
Her multi award-winning plays include Conversations After a Burial, Winter Crossing and Art.
The show will play at Clwyd Theatr Cymru until Saturday, October 13.