So says a sharp-suited movie exec to her black-clad colleagues. She gestures vaguely at the woman to whose life they’re giving the Hollywood treatment. Anne stares dolefully at a pot of strip-lit orchids that have never looked further from nature, in a swanky lounge somewhere uptown. Champagne flutes clink. Silhouettes promenade against neon. Emotion has no place in this glinting operating theatre.
The story of Anne’s domestic abuse is about to be neatly tweaked, preened and packaged for the big screen.
Martin Crimp’s harrowing 1993 play, coolly revived at the Almeida by hotshot director Lyndsey Turner, takes us on a phantasmagorical journey through the bars and boardrooms of a nightmarish New York via voyeurism, control, commercialism and exploitation. Anne’s story is trussed up, stage by stage, meeting by meeting, into glorious Technicolor. She looks on, poised but helpless.
Nearly 25 years after its premiere, Crimp’s trademark satire has new balloons to burst: reality TV, 'post-truth', social media. And the writing still bites, clever-clever though it may be. The ensemble is mighty – the acting tight as a noose.
If you like Crimp, you’ll like this revival. But as ever with this abstract, abstruse British playwright, the overall effect is more chilly than chilling.
|What||The Treatment review, Almeida Theatre|
Almeida Street, Islington, London, N1 1TA | MAP
|Nearest tube||Angel (underground)|
24 Apr 17 – 10 Jun 17, 7:30 PM – 9:30 PM
|Price||£10 - £39.50|
|Website||Click here to book via The Almeida Theatre|