How It Goes
play by Neil LaBute is likely to push you outside your comfort zone
with thoughts about things you might prefer not to think about, and
also to lie to you - or at least to present events before you that are
later shown to be not quite what they seemed.
these are both things that might scare some people off, they are
exactly the elements that will attract others.
uncomfortable thoughts. One of the three characters in This Is How It
Goes is an angry African-American and another is more of a racist than
he'd care to admit, and so things are exposed about the continuing
dilemma of race in America, particularly the very thin veneer of
civility that barely enables both sides to coexist in an uncomfortable
to the lying,
the play begins as our amiable hero recounts and enacts for us a chance
meeting, twelve years after graduation, with a girl he knew in high
school, who is now the unhappy trophy wife of a successful black
spoiling too much, I'll just say that some of what I've just told you
turns out not to be true, that some of what we will see as the play
progresses will afterward be dismissed as fantasy, false memory or
outright lie, and that the string of corrections and revelations will
continually force us to reconsider and redefine everything we've seen
so far, the end result being much darker than the jolly rom com we
seemed to be setting out on at the start, with at least two of the
characters exposed as rather unpleasant human beings.
so, as with
some other LaBute plays, your enjoyment of This Is How It Goes will
depend to a large extent on how much pleasure you take in having
romantic bubbles burst and your worst suspicions about human indecency
I have to admit
that, while I'm at least as cynical as the next guy, I found this play
and its revelations rather unpleasant, no matter how (or perhaps
because of how) cleverly it is put together.
who are repeatedly exposed as not what we thought they were a moment
earlier, director Seb Billings' cast - Tom Greaves (guy), Gemma
Atkinson (wife) and Okezie Morro (husband) - all have trouble keeping
up with the changes, Greaves in particular stuck in the innocent 'Aw
shucks' persona of the opening scenes long after the play's twists and
revelations should have demolished it.
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- This Is How It Goes - King's Head 2010