Review: In A Dark Dark House, Almeida

Due to having no internet at my flat, I have fallen behind with my reviewing, which is very poor considering this is only my second one. But I forgive myself, and I am the only person reading this anyway, lol!

This three-hander is by Neil LaBute who has a long-running relationship with the Almeida, and this is the European premiere of In A Dark Dark House. It is quite cleverly structured, in three segments with no interval and so really has a filmic feel to it which is probably a good thing as you wouldn’t have wanted it to be much longer. The play tells the story of two brothers who are still struggling with events from their childhood, and as ever with LaBute’s work, nothing is quite as it seems and the journey to the truth is quite harrowing. David Morrissey and Steven Mackintosh both do fine work, but somehow the parts don’t quite add up to a cohesive whole. The central scene with Kira Sternbach playing a Lolita-like role provides a welcome jolt of adrenaline to proceedings, but I didn’t feel the play dealt sufficiently with the questions it raised especially around the long-lasting impact of abuse .
Full credit however must go to the set designer who works wonders with the limited space on the stage to create a green space which subtly but credibly shifts from the grounds of a mental institution to crazy golf course to the back garden of the final scene. I am always impressed at how the space at the Almeida is utilised, every show looks so remarkably different, it is always exciting to see what they will do next.

I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Q&A session with the actors at the end of the show, which only made me fall further in love with David Morrissey. He was witty and gracious in answering even the most inane questions, I failed to pluck up the nerve to ask him about whether he had ever missed the windmill with his putt!

Link to tons more information at Almeida website: http://www.almeida.co.uk/production_details/In_a_Dark_Dark_House/reviews.aspx?eventId=73

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