Review: God Of Carnage – The MAC
February 6, 2015 Chris Caldwell 0 Comments
Prime Cut Productions and The MAC have teamed up once again, this time to put on the English speaking version of the French production Le Dieu du Carnage – God of Carnage. This fact is somewhat important as all names and places have retained their original French versions. It took me a wee while to realise that Michelle wasn’t a lady but actually referred to Dan Gordon’s character Michel and that the Metro referred to the Parisian under-ground transport system and not the pink buses that circulate Belfast!
The basic story revolves around two middle class sets of parents that have met to discuss a recent spat between their two eleven year olds (where one hit the other with a stick). What starts as four people showing how perfectly civilised and amiable they can be, quickly descends into an exploration of what lies beneath the veneers, when the masks slip, so to speak.
The play is carried by the four leads, all local actors, who play their parts to perfection. To the point where I can’t single out a strongest actor, like four corners of a room they are all more than holding their own. The play itself is riotous, having the crowd in stitches from the off. Whilst characters are well defined and rounded, they’re mostly unlikeable, this made for a situation where I wasn’t rooting for one couple or the other, so could just sit back and enjoy the fireworks (and fireworks there are aplenty).
Using a mix of farce, slapstick and observational humour, along with a few other tricks from the comedy handbook being played out over the 1hr 15 mins running time, the play also creates a balance with drama and character development as we delve deeper and find out more about the four individuals and their situation as couples.
I was surprised how funny this play was whilst retaining its intelligence. Bolstered by tremendous performances, this is definitely another success for Prime Cut Productions and shows that they can do comedy just as well as they can do drama!