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Three Looks at Life

Henri (Dave Crossfield) and wife Sonia (Elizabeth Morris) wrestle the laptop. Photo by Richard Smith Photography.

Life X 3, The Loft Theatre, Leamington Spa, from Wednesday 17 Jan – Saturday 27 January.

Written by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton, directed by Sue Moore

Review by Ann Evans


It’s a dinner party that couldn’t possibly get any worse. Henri (Dave Crossfield) and Sonia (Elizabeth Morris) aren’t expecting their dinner guests until tomorrow. Their six-year-old son Arnauld is refusing to go to sleep and causing friction between strict mum Sonia, and dad Henri who Arnuald has wrapped around his little finger.

By the time their guests turn up at their Parisian apartment – a day early in their minds, Henri and Sonia are so stressed due to Arnauld’s constant demands they are close to murdering one another. Arnould incidentally remains off stage, but the voice belongs to Tommy Randell.

Hubert (Paul Curran) and Henri (Dave Crossfield) with wives Ines (Cheryl Laverick) and Sonia (Elizabeth Morris) look on. Photo by Richard Smith Photography.

 At this hapless dinner party there is nothing to offer their unexpected guests to eat except for chocolate fingers and cheesy Whatsits – oh yes and wine. As a dinner party it’s a total disaster. Guests Hubert (Paul Curran) and Inès (Cheryl Laverick) have argued all the way here and the arrogant Hubert belittles his wife at every opportunity.

Henri was hoping to impress Hubert, seeing him as a stepping stone to promotion and getting his scientific paper published. Alas for poor Henri, Hubert is all too aware of this and takes the greatest of pleasure in wrecking Henri’s hopes, sending him spiralling into depression.

Hubert (Paul Curran) and Ines (Cheryl Laverick). Photo by Richard Smith Photography.

Such a frantic and strained situation could only result in laughter – that is for those watching, not for the people involved, and the writer Yasmina Reza peppers this disastrous scenario with wit and humour.

The performances by each of the four cast members is excellent. And no easy task to repeat the same scene with their subtle changes, leading to very different outcomes.

There’s no interval in this production and a simple blackout on stage leads us through Life x 1, x 2 and x 3 as we go back to the start time and again. It’s a very different kind of play, but a courageous piece of work by the writer. It is very cleverly written - a kind of masterclass in showing how the smallest of changes can alter a character’s personality, their relationships, the atmosphere and the ending.  

The Company and cast. Photo by Richard Smith Photography.

While there’s four fabulous performers on stage, they have a great back-up crew that includes Director Sue Moore, Stage Manager and Set Design Richard Moore, Movement Director Dan Walsh, Prompt Lynda Lewis, Lighting Design Malcolm Hunt, Sound Design James Ruffell, Wardrobe Helen Brady and the Construction team, Technical team and the social and admin teams who work quietly in the background.


Jan 18

Sounds fantastic xxx seeing it tomorrow 20 Jan xxx love The Loft and try to see all performances🎭


Jan 18

Love the fact that in your review you spell Arnaud three different ways, none of them correct. Very clever!

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