Opened 28 Feb 2006
Written: by Mark Ravenhill
Directed: Michael Grandage
Cast: Ian McKellen, Deborah Findlay, Emma Beatie, Tom Burke, Jimmy Akingbola
Synopsis: Paul is an ordinary man with a shocking secret. At home, he is a loving husband and father. At work, he administers the Cut. In a society sickened by his profession, Paul struggles with his conscience and longs to tell the truth.
What the critics had to say.....
NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, " Soft-edged, vague and obscure." SARAH HEMMING for THE FINANCIAL TIMES says, "With Ian McKellen offering a superb performance at the helm, this is a honed, discomfiting drama about the lies we tell ourselves to get by and, on a larger scale, about the self-deception practised by the rich western world and the current clash of ideologies...ultimately the play loses power by being so unspecific." PAUL TAYLOR for THE INDEPENDENT says, "Michael Grandage's production adroitly balances the play's pain and its absurd comedy." MICHAEL BILLINGTON for THE GUARDIAN says, "Exquisitely paced production...Its weakness is that we never know what the cut stands for: it is a vague symbol that could apply to any regime - communist or fascist, secular or theocratic - prizing social conformity above individual freedom." CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, "Initially intriguing, but ultimately frustrating, the piece combines the enigma and menace of early Pinter with the political anger of late Pinter...I found the play’s refusal to reveal its hand tiresome, and the spare, edgy dialogue more mannered than mesmerising. BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, "Dramatically gripping. That’s mainly due to McKellen’s portrait of what may conceivably be a contemporary figure, a torturer in spiritual crisis."