Neil LaBute is never far from controversy but the Whingers have less issue with his subject matter than his titles. Andrew got himself in a right old tizzy about a missing comma In a Dark Dark House (also at the Almeida Theatre) and earlier this year he was quite punctilious about the punctuation again when that AWOL comma turned up quite superfluously in In a Forest, Dark and Deep before being being told to stand on the stupid step as it was a quote from Walt Whitman.
It was Phil’s turn this time. Shouldn’t Reasons To Be Pretty be Reasons to be Pretty, arguing that Ian Drury’s song “Reasons to be Cheerful” opts for lower case on the copula verb? When the play first appeared in New York in 2008 LaBute seemed To Be taking no chances, dropping the upper case completely by opting for reasons to be pretty. Gosh, everyone seems confused. Some think it’s Reasons to Be Pretty.
But are we arguing about physical appearance rather than content? This is what Lord Harold Fritz-Liberty (Mr LaBute’s Royal Wedding name) is tackling again in the third of his trilogy of plays on the subject. Phil had previously enjoyed the twisted The Shape of Things (also Almeida when it decamped to King’s Cross) and both Whingers were very taken by his Fat Pig. Read the rest of this entry »