The Woods review: Sweet, sexy and savage in turn


    Written in 1977 and unseen in the UK for 25 years, David Mamet’s play is untypical at first. “It’s so clean here!” says Ruth (Francesca Carpanini), skipping around like a gamine young hippy while Nick (Bridgerton’s Sam Frenchum) smiles from the porch: “I’m glad that you’re happy.” But, clearly, he is not. And as Nick’s true character emerges, events take a malevolent turn.

    Director Russell Bolam allows the two actors space to move around Anthony Lamble’s naturalistic set – the front porch of a wood cabin and a tree stump – and their proximity to the audience creates a frisson of intimacy.

    The physicality of later scenes includes passionate grappling and an extended fight so convincing that one wonders if the blood spilt is real.

    Distilled into a taut 90 minutes, Mamet’s play is a deceptively clever work, hinting at Native American mythology and fairytales such as Babes in the Wood while casting a jaundiced eye on heterosexual relationships and the inevitability of inheriting violent traits from parents.

    Sweet, sexy and savage in turn, it is performed with a commitment above and beyond the call of duty.

    Published at Thu, 03 Mar 2022 23:00:41 +0000

    The Woods review: Sweet, sexy and savage in turn


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