A polite meeting between two sets of parents to discuss a playground fight involving their children is the background to the comical play God of Carnage.
Yasmina Reza’s award-winning comedy is the next production at Rugby Theatre, and is being staged as part of the town’s Festival of Culture.
Real-life husband and wife Andy and Ruth MacCallum play one couple, Tom Browning and Rugby Theatre newcomer Felicity Peck play the other in what the director describes as “a comedy of manners – without the manners”.
When the two couples meet, diplomatic niceties are initially observed, but as things progress and the rum flows, things quickly go downhill.
Director John Dulcamara said: “I saw God of Carnage in Florida a couple of years ago, and I was totally fascinated by it.
“It had me laughing out loud throughout, but I also left the theatre thinking about one of the main themes, that it’s almost impossible to be a good or virtuous person in a world where there’s such malice and mayhem.
“The things going on in the world at the moment seem to underline that.”
“The men gang up on the women and the spouses switch sides, and we end up with civilised adults acting like rude, petulant children,” said John. “It’s incredibly clever stuff.
“I’m so happy to have been able to bring this Tony and Olivier Award winning play to our Henry Street stage. We’ve had a terrific time in rehearsals, and I’m sure our Festival of Culture audiences will love it too.”
Yasmina Reza is an award-winning French playwright. Christopher Hampton’s English translation of the play was first presented in a UK premiere at the Gielgud Theatre in London’s West End in 2008. The production starred Ralph Fiennes, Tamsin Greig, Janet McTeer and Ken Stott. It was transferred to Broaday the following year, where it was a critical and commercial success.
God of Carnage runs at Rugby Theatre for a five-performance run from July 4 to 8. Tickets for are available from the Rugby Theatre box office on 01788 541234, or the website, www.rugbytheatre.co.uk.