Review: Filthy Talk for Troubled Times – Basic Mountain, Edinburgh Fringe

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First published in The Times, Wednesday August 19 2015

Two Stars

Legend has it that when Neil LaBute’s debut play received its world premiere in New York in 1990, one unimpressed member of the audience shouted: “Kill the playwright!”

Twenty-five years on, UK audiences finally get a chance to see what all the fuss was about, thanks to this revival from the LA-based Phanton Owl theatre company. Yet, while the play still holds some interest for fans of LaBute’s observant writing and studied cynicism, Matthew Lillard’s production doesn’t do much to bring the dated material to life, or even highlight why it was once considered so controversial.

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