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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

In ‘God Of Carnage,’ Polite Discussion Devolves Into Chaos

Have you ever watched grown adults completely lose it?

That’s what it feels like to see “God of Carnage,” by French playwright Yasmina Reza.

The play centers on two sets of well-to-do Brooklyn parents who meet after one of their boys hits the other with a stick on the playground. Though their discussion begins civilly, it quickly escalates into outright mayhem as the parents fight over personal and parental responsibility.

Goldstar Boston describes it this way:

God of Carnage.. shows that while kids will be kids, adults may have only a tenuous grasp on maturity themselves… leading the audience to wonder if the parents are anything more than overgrown children.

“God of Carnage” had a successful run on Broadway and has been made into a film.  Now the Huntington Theatre Company brings it to a Boston audience.

After a recent performance, Here & Now‘s Robin Young sat down with the four actors who bring the play to life in Boston: Brooks Ashmanskas, Stephen Bogardus, Johanna Day and Christy Pusz.

Foreign Script With Universal Appeal

Reza’s script was translated into English from French by British playwright Christopher Hampton and Ashmanskas points out that the dialogue can feel a little foreign. But all of the actors feel the play has a universal appeal that live audiences respond to.

Actor Pusz says the parenting issues are particularly relevant.

“I feel like everyone I know who’s a mother has to defend the way that she raises her child and I think a lot of women judge each other,” she said.


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  • CynLevin

    We produced this show at the Unicorn Theatre in Kansas City several months ago to great response. Audiences completely relate to these people and their inner child and demise of public behavior. We have all wanted to express ourselves without reagard to consequence at one time or another. Ms. Reza (and Mr. Hampton) have a wonderful ear for dialogue.  

  • Obasanobrien

    in re the developmentally disabled..just caught the end…I am in a tough fight with my son’s group home.  Wish a MA paper would take it up!

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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