Saturday, December 15

Yasmina Reza’s dark comedy Life x 3 at Wagner Hall

- August 20, 2013

Life x 3

Pretty Villain Productions presents Yasmina Reza’s dark comedy Life x 3 at Wagner Hall

Pretty Villain came into being after an acclaimed, sold out, production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at the 2012 Brighton Festival. The company consists of a professional, award winning director and writer, two professional actresses and a local business owner with a passion for theatre. This has proven to be a formidable range of eclectic skills; however, despite their obviously very different backgrounds, the team has worked seamlessly together. Pretty Villain was soon born with a desire to produce high quality, accessible theatre in Brighton.

“There are tensions and desires between the two couples and a clutch of hidden agendas”

Life x 3, a deliciously dark comedy by Yasmina Reza, author of the acclaimed, award-winning Art, is a dinner party with two couples, taken out of its original French setting and into the Cotswolds by Pretty Villain. The hosts had been expecting the visitors the following evening. This, however, is really just the start of their difficulties. The two males are both astrophysicists and at various points in the play gravitate to the subject close to their hearts, except the hosts’ child continually gets in the way. There are tensions and desires between the two couples and a clutch of hidden agendas.

This is the twist though: the play is in three acts, the same disastrous dinner party played out three times, with similarities but subtle differences. We are all familiar with the ‘what if…’ idea of Sliding Doors, in which an entire alternate reality is played out following one critical event with two distinctly different outcomes. The author suggests in Life x 3 that language unlocks our perception of the world. By having the same evening played out three times, she suggests that reality can be altered by subtle nuances of language and our subsequent reactions. Similar to the concept of ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, the play suggests that meanings are derived by those who interpret the words and ultimately creates our interpretation of the world. Central to the play is the juxtaposition between the large and the small; the scientists discuss the galaxy while a child is crying.

The audience will delight in the feeling that just when they feel they have a character sussed, a beat change occurs and they are forced to re-assess their perception.

The play takes place at Wagner Hall, in the centre of Brighton. It is a charming venue, with a yurt (a kind of marquee), set in a secret Alice In Wonderland-style garden. The audience will be able to enjoy fine wine, cask ale, continental lagers, jugs of Pimm’s and gourmet food, set against (hopefully!) balmy summer evenings. Pretty Villain didn’t just want to provide excellent theatre; instead, the idea is that the audience enjoy a delightful holistic experience.

Pretty Villain’s first production was The House Of Bernarda Alba. This is perhaps the most famous Spanish play, but was updated and set in the Arab Spring. This was fully sold out and according to Plays International it was an “excellent treatment of the piece”, while the Brighton Fringe Review said it was “a well-directed and adeptly performed production”.

Pretty Villain plans to return in December with a production of David Hare’s The Blue Room.
Pretty Villain Productions presents Life x 3, Saturday 24–Saturday 31 August 2013, Wagner Hall, Russell Place, Brighton, BN1 2RG, for tickets call:
01273 709709,

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