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The God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza
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The God of Carnage

by Yasmina Reza

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I'm going to sound like such a snob but this play left me so unsatisfied. It felt like Albee-lite, with no real purpose or resolution to the unfolding chaos. The characters never evolved beyond their established archetypes and the stereotypical markers of power and gender (men are brutes and like war! Women are bitches!) didn't evolve to give us any deeper insight other than "Adults can be so childish." I imagine it would be very entertaining to see performed, and I must keep in mind how different an experience it is to read a play in comparison to watching one (this is also a translated play), but why briefly raise topics such as the inherent narcissism of the bourgeois and the universality of anger and war if you're not going to do anything with them? ( )
  Ceilidhann | Sep 20, 2013 |
Two couple come together for the purpose of having a "civilized discussion" about an act of violence that occurred between their sons. But what, finally, is "civilization"? Is it a mere sham? Or, although real, does it carry us away from our natural human impulses? Does civilization resolve anything in the end?

How does the behavior of "grownups" differ from the rough schoolyard savagery of children? Are they the same? And do the formalities of the former merely disguise the brutality of the latter?

A very depressing play. One that I'm unsure whether I'd want to see, let alone perform in. I dunno. Depends on my mood, I guess.

If you go to see this play, my advice is that you not sit in the front row, unless you're one of those hardy or masochistic souls who'd be front and center at a Gallagher show and who'd like to be spattered with bits of exploded melon. Only in this case, it'd be puke. Probably fake puke, unless the actress who plays Annette is gastrically super-talented. ( )
  EricKibler | Apr 5, 2013 |
A terrific play! It is a quick, spirited argument between two couples that is richly layered and enormously entertaining. The only complaint I have is that it doesn't seem to have much of a premise; or, if it does, the premise is deeply obscured by the dialectical fireworks. It's fun to read and I can only assume that it is fun to watch (I've never seen a production). It recently received a Broadway treatment, but I suspect that a second act would have probably netted it a bevy of additional rewards. Thumbs up as is. ( )
  Narboink | Sep 28, 2011 |
This play has the feel of Eugene O'Neill or Edward Albee, only more compact. It unfolds over a single act in the living room as two couples address the fact that one of their son's hit the others' son in the fact with a stick, breaking his two front teeth. It starts out with relatively civilized mutual understanding and apologies but slowly and inevitably degenerates into immature multidimensional fighting, pitting not just the couples against each other but also the husbands against the wives. In the course, it provides a psychologically astute portrait of the couples and their struggles with each other and themselves. ( )
  jasonlf | Jul 11, 2011 |
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"A playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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