“Children consume and fracture our lives. Children drag us towards disaster, it’s unavoidable. When you see those laughing couples casting off into the sea of matrimony, you say to yourself, they have no idea, poor things, they just have no idea, they’re happy. No one tells you anything when you start out. I have an old school pal who’s just about to have a child with his new girlfriend. I said to him, “A child, at your age, are you insane?” The ten or dozen good years left to us before we get cancer or a stroke, and you’re going to bugger yourself up with some brat?” – Yasmina Reza, The God of Carnage
God of Carnage (originally Le Dieu du carnage) is a play by Yasmina Reza which won the Tony Awards in 2009 including Best Play, Best Direction of a Play, Best Performance by a Leading Actress and Lawrence Olivier Award the Best Comedy and many others. The play was a success in its original language, French, and has been equally acclaimed in its other English-translated productions in both London and New York.
It started with two 11 years old getting into an argument that ended one having two front teeth knocked out and their parents meeting up to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. The parents were supposed to be finding out ways to handle the situation as mature adults but ended up acting childish about the whole thing thus, the evening goes on into chaos because instead of progressing and making the situation better they just degraded themselves and made the situation worst. Fitting for the extreme title as Yasmina Reza, the writer of this play adopted the word ‘Carnage’ to allude to the violent and childish human nature.
A one scene, single setting play and the whole conversation and everything that occurred in that time frame revolved around trying to resolve their kid’s issues in a diplomatic manner. But since both parents having their own multiple layers of characters as high-class, politically correct, and snooty characters, even their own issues tangled in the situation they are trying to resolve as their emotional buttons are pressed along the conversation. It was under 90 minutes but I was amazed with how the actors memorized their line with no breaks or scene changes. It’s not like you can shout ‘cut!’ when one of them faltered. It was flawless but then again if anyone made mistakes I reckoned no one in the audience could have pointed it out because everything was so natural- the cast does exceptionally well in their respective roles and all you can do was watch as their verbal battle unravels their dark sides.
Just because Lea Salonga was in it I kept on reminding myself that this is not a musical so there’s no need to expect belting her pipes for the evening.