The Leisure Society

François Archambault

The Leisure Society

A well-heeled, self-obsessed couple, Peter and Mary, invite their fast-living friend over to dump him. But when Mark turns up with his stunning latest fling, Paula, the dinner party spectacularly nosedives into a drunken swamp of personal revelation and debauchery. 2.7 out of 5 based on 12 reviews
The Leisure Society

Omniscore:

Location London
Venue Trafalgar Studios
Director Harry Burton
Cast Agyness Deyn, Melanie Gray, John Schwab Ed Stoppard
From March 2012
Until March 2012
Box Office 0844 871 7627
 

A well-heeled, self-obsessed couple, Peter and Mary, invite their fast-living friend over to dump him. But when Mark turns up with his stunning latest fling, Paula, the dinner party spectacularly nosedives into a drunken swamp of personal revelation and debauchery.

Reviews

The Independent

Paul Taylor

Highly enjoyable and well-judged.

02/03/2012

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The Times

Libby Purves

The apex of the evening is an offstage sexual threesome, preceded by wonderfully ridiculous negotiation. But sex is just another human behaviour which brings out human failings, just like acquisitiveness, or parenthood, or marriage. Audience hilarity at the erotic manoeuvring is not tittering, but helpless, healing laughter. The couple’s final moments, battered and baffled but still there, become touchingly human.

03/03/2012

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The Evening Standard

Henry Hitchings

The play is uneven. There are some good laughs, yet Archambault’s decision to subject all characters to sustained ridicule seems heartless. They are a cartoonish quartet — symptoms of affluence, rather than three-dimensional embodiments of it.

02/03/2012

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The Independent on Sunday

Kate Bassett

To begin with, the short scenes seem skeletal and artificial, but then the register shifts, with dialogue of a sexual frankness that feels scorchingly honest, and plot twists that open up unexpected depths of hypocrisy and despair.

04/03/2012

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The Daily Mail

Quentin Letts

A shallow but frisky little play.

02/03/2012

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The Observer

Susannah Clapp

Neatly but archly directed by Harry Burton, with plinkety-plonk music headlining irony. It has some cute opening jokes ... and some enjoyable sexual skirmishes. But this is a quartet who hardly need satirising.

04/03/2012

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The Guardian

Michael Billington

Although we are pleasantly dazzled for 90 minutes, I can't help feeling there is something slightly offensive about Archambault's assumption that we all share the material comfort and quilted prosperity of his characters.

02/03/2012

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The Stage

Mark Shenton

The quartet - comprising Ed Stoppard and Melanie Gray as the married couple, with John Schwab and Agyness Deyn as their visiting guests - give this portrait of modern relationships running on empty a queasy, uneasy energy. But the play feels just as empty and exposed as their lives do in the close-up quarters of Trafalgar Studios.

02/03/2012

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The Daily Telegraph

Charles Spencer

This is a glib and heartless little play, and the fact that its French-Canadian author François Archambault evidently intended it as such doesn’t make it any easier to bear. A satire on yuppies, a theme that now seems very stale buns indeed. The sole aim seems to be to make the audience feel smugly superior to the characters he depicts. Comedy should have a higher aim than that.

05/03/2012

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Time Out

Matt Trueman

Swerves into darker territory - think Saved as a sex farce - clunk into heavy-handed melodrama, and 'The Leisure Society's only depths are the ones it plumbs.

02/03/2012

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The Financial Times

Ian Shuttleworth

Less than a month after the UK release of the film version of Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage comes a Québecois theatrical venture into Reza’s principal territory: the emptiness and even atavism of the affluent. When a play opens with a taped cue for a well-heeled thirtysomething couple to gush about how happy and fulfilled they are, you know that the next 90 minutes will lay bare the untruth of those claims.

05/03/2012

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The Sunday Times

David Jays

It doesn’t matter that this vile quartet aren’t sympathetic, but they’re simply not very interesting. Suggested comparisons to Albee are wildly off beam — these characters lack his brains and full-blooded bile. Nothing on stage made me smile as much as the spoof programme ad for an adoption agency specialising in “gifted children from the Far East”, showing a grinning toddler ingesting classical music on outsize headphones. It’s sharper than the play’s own riffs on vainglorious adoption as a substitute for volunteering.

11/03/2012

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