Review: Attempts on Her Life

Brodrick Productions
C, Chambers Street – until August 18th
3 Stars (3 / 5)

“It’s moving. It’s timely. It’s distressing. It’s funny. It’s sick. It’s sexy. It’s deeply serious. It’s entertaining. It’s illuminating. It’s dark. It’s highly personal and at the same time raises vital questions about the world we’re living in.” – Perhaps this quote from Attempts on Her Life is how playwright, Martin Crimp, would most love his own work to be described.

Pedantically verbose, overblown, and often very humorous… Brodrick Productions present Martin Crimp’s cynical social commentary on media hype and the excesses of late 20th century capitalism.

In the original script none of the lines are assigned to any particular character, but the competence of these four in stitching together this narrative-defying modernist challenge is clear. In 17 short skits we get the lowdown. Anne has committed suicide and everyone seems to have a take on who she is and what she represents to the world. News anchors, stand-up comedians, her answering machine. Everybody and anybody who has never known her has an opinion.

This is a contemporary piece for an intelligent audience. It’s very fast-paced, and not all of it is not easy to grasp (that is, if indeed it is meant to be grasped.) Perhaps there is something impenetrable here, or perhaps this old boy is too much of a traditionalist to appreciate the nuance – some of which goes over my head. Then again… perhaps, as one actor quipped, “If there is any point it’s that all attempts to find a point are pointless.”