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REVIEW: THIS IS HOW IT GOES

PUBLISHED: 15:19 22 September 2010 | UPDATED: 11:12 14 October 2010

DESPITE Neil LaBute's credentials as an award-winning, internationally acclaimed playwright, the latest production of his play This is How it Goes fails to create the kind of controversy th

THIS IS HOW IT GOES, King's Head Theatre, Upper Street, N1

DESPITE Neil LaBute's credentials as an award-winning, internationally acclaimed playwright, the latest production of his play This is How it Goes fails to create the kind of controversy that it seems to seek.

The 100-minute drama, directed by Seb Billings, focuses on the relationship between Belinda (Gemma Atkinson) and Cody Phipps (Okezie Morro), a pair of American high school sweethearts who become embroiled in a difficult and dysfunctional inter-racial marriage.

They are seen through the eyes of a former classmate (Tom Greaves) who awkwardly fumbles his way into their lives, becoming their tenant and hired hand.

What follows is a winding plot into deception, bribery and lust, which is constantly subject to stoppages from the narrator-come-director, as he attempts to alert us to the artificiality of any narratorial construction. His obsession with Belinda is clear from the offset, but his good intentions become suspect.

Sadly, the play's odd racial dynamic left a sour taste in the mouth. Racial clashing between actors Greaves and Morro appeared contrived to simply shock, instead of educate. Though Morro was extremely compelling as an arrogant, money-driven chauvinist, Greaves sadly did not have the maturity to juggle the roles of both the villain and the innocent bystander.

One can only hope that this was a blip in the playwright's so far impressive career.

- RACHEL BLUNDY


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