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Dinner - June 2006

By Moira Buffini

Directed by Dean Schulze

At first glance, “Dinner” sounds like one of those old-fashioned English mysteries – an isolated house on a foggy night, a tense gathering of distinctive personalities, a unexpected visitor with car trouble. But it has closer affinities with “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolfe” despite the fact that the ostensible occasion of the dinner is the celebration by his wife Paige of Lars’ latest best-selling book, it is soon clear that the pair have long since fallen into a poisonous relationship characterized by barbed exchanges. The other guests include Wynne, the flaky artist who has turned up without her politician husband after a falling out, and scientist Hal with his new trophy wife, newsreader Sian.

They are all served by a silent waiter whose main duty seems to be to bring drinks with increasing regularity. Into this well-to-do middle-class knees-up comes Mike, the stranger whose van has run into a ditch in the fog.
This is one dinner party you’ll be glad to observe from the safety of the theatre. The food is execrable (it begins with some kind of pond-slime concoction called Primordial Soup and goes downhill from there), the guests are at each others throats and it becomes increasingly obvious that the hosts are on less than amicable terms.

Cast:

Paige Sue Darge
Lars ( married to Paige) Glen Hunting
Wynne ( a college friend of Lars) Janelle Hammond
Hal ( Lars’ closest friend) Paul Williams
Sian ( married to Hal) Shannyn Nicholas
Mike ( an intruder) Cary Hudson
The Waiter Michael O’Neill