Back-stabbed finance

Art & Lit Stage

FOUR STARS

Glengarry Glen Ross preview

O’Reilly

25th-28th May 7.30pm, Sat 3pm

Tickets: £7/£6

A thoroughly-researched and realistic portrayal of the cut-throat world of real-estate, this stellar production infuses David Mamet’s black humour with acting of the highest and most believable quality. The team have paid careful attention to characterization in their preparation, and their work is brought to fruition in the pressured, claustrophobic atmosphere of the scenes where the pitch-perfect accents and personalities of the “employees” shine even brighter.

Overshadowing their sweating brows as the men in suits desperately clinch deals and drive closures hangs the score board of the sales contest – and if your name’s not on it, Alan Sugar’s favourite catch phrase comes in to play, triggering under-the-table deals by staff to ensure their survival in a real-world game of back-stabbing and burglary.

Will Hatcher delivers a manipulative monologue as Richard Roma in an utterly convincing Chicago twang which will trick you into thinking you really are a fly on the wall observing the corporate lie in action. Rhys Bevan as James Lingk, recipient of the former’s hilarious charm, also impresses with a convincing performance, as does Ziad Samaha as manager John Williamson and Lloyd Houston as the bitter and beleaguered Shelley Levene.

The exchange between Joe Bayley in the guise of fall guy George Aaronow and the dominant Dave Moss perfectly executed by Jordan Waller is superbly enacted – the blackmail is excellent and the amusing attempts by each to pre-empt the other is pretty much priceless.

If this play were an estate in the housing market, it would be a top “Glengarry” lead, the mark of exclusive high-end property… fight over tickets, because of it’s a shark-infested scene out there.

–Catherine Jenkins