DarkUFO - Lost

Update: Thanks to CrazyLatin for these 3 new reviews

Three official reviews of Neil LaBute's In a Forest Dark and Deep starring Matthew Fox and Olivia Williams. It seems critics agree that Fox and Williams totally bring it, but don't like the text of the play

This Is London
The Stage
Guardian


Thanks to Hilary for sending us this review of the new Matthew Fox play.

I went to see this on 5 March 2011, three days into the previews before the world premiere of this Neil Labute play on 11 March 2011.
The trailer and programme suggested a dark, psychological thriller involving sibling rivalry, with content and dialogue that the audience would find challenging. The London audience that I saw this with found some humour within the content but there is no doubt that it was provocative, both verbally and physically, with lots of bad language and threatening body postures.

The plot is suggested to be what happens during a night when a sister asks her brother for help in clearing out a cabin in the woods and how this activity turns into something more, an examination of how relationships that have been set in childhood influence the way we behave into adulthood. As this is a brother and sister play, comments from some forum members have leaned towards incest as the main topic but this is very different and worth a look.

The play runs for 105 minutes, no interval, with no set change, so everything hinges on the two actors playing brother and sister being able to carry off the range of dialogue, emotion and activity that the story dictates. They did not disappoint in any of these areas.
Luckily I had not gone expecting to see Dr Jack Shepherd on stage as Matthew Fox has chosen to play a character far removed from the beloved Jack, more like a mean Sawyer on steroids, with none of the charm! He happily spewed out all of the major cuss words, along with some seriously bigoted views in a committed and believable way. He has obviously not gone for the easy option for his West End debut with some lengthy and blistering monologues and character interplay that must test him as an actor – maybe that is what he was looking for

Olivia Williams, the actress playing his sister, is English playing American and to my ear, she had this down pat. I would have liked to see some more vulnerability in her performance but overall they bounced off of each other well. An interesting fact, put forward this weekend in The Observer (English Sunday Newspaper), Olivia states that she was offered an audition for Lost but that due to being ‘frightened by bullish Hollywood terms’ regarding immediate relocation to the States and commitment to half a decade up front she did not go for it. She does have a passing resemblance to Evangeline Lilly so one wonders what part she was up for....

Go to the play – if you want to see solid performances and challenging material in a believable ‘slice of life’ piece with a great set (or if you just want to see Matthew Fox in the flesh!)

Don’t go – if you are over sensitive or unable to accept a cussing, boozing and bigoted version of your favourite Lost character.
I thought that it was the best play that I have seen in recent times and would recommend it, as would my husband and son.

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