Just the thought of sitting through another of David Hare’s
lectures dramas about contemporary politics gives me a migraine. He's now taken his soap-box to New York, where his post-Iraq opus, The Vertical Hour, has had its world premiere. (The National didn’t get first bite because the anti-Establishment playwright – that’s Sir David to you, buddy - felt the management exhibited a lack of respect for his towering genius.) The Indy’s critic – who’s normally a fan – was disappointed this time:
We need a play that burrows deep into the nervous system of a bright person who sincerely thought that the invasion of Iraq amounted to "liberation". We need a play that sees Western indulgence through the eyes of someone from the West who is more of a Muslim cast-of-mind than she knows. We need a play that says the knee-jerk antipathy to everything that America has done in the past five years could do with some vigorous questioning. But the toxic combination of George Bush and Tony Blair engender a crudity of response.
Not much has changed, then. Incidentally, I’m glad to discover that I’m not alone in thinking Stuff Happens was a load of, er, stuff. Critic Brian Logan takes a few pot-shots here.