1987 screenplay has been adapted for the stage by Richard Bean and,
despite some small and large changes, plays as the same sort of
psychological thriller and who's-screwing-who mystery, with enough
twists and turns that even the most cynical are likely to be surprised
can, of course,
buy the film for considerably less than the price of a ticket (see
Amazon button to the right), but here it is if you want to see it live.
psychologist encounters a crew of conmen and is fascinated by the
psychological manipulation by which they get people to give them money,
so she arranges to watch them at work. Of course there's also the
naughty attraction of a walk on the wild side, especially as she gets
sexually involved with the crew leader.
more would be telling, but you can probably guess that she will get in
deeper than she planned and that she and we will begin to be unsure
just who is being conned by whom. (For those who know the film, Bean
has changed some of the details of the intermediary cons and
significantly softened the ending, but it still works.)
if the play
repeatedly surprises you, you can have the pleasure of being tricked,
and if you guess some of the twists in advance, you can have the
pleasure of feeling smarter than the playwright. Like any good con, it
looks like a win-win situation.
somewhat softer and more vulnerable from the start than Lindsay Crouse
was in the film, Michael Landes somewhat less overtly oily than Joe
Mantegna was, both changes making the theatrical version a little
warmer and more human than the icy film.
rest of the cast,
including Trevor Cooper, Dermot Crowley, Peter De Jersey and Amanda
Drew, clearly enjoy playing the roles of people constantly playing
- House of Games - Almeida 2010