Race by David Mamet
South African Season | The Playhouse Company and Assembly
Tiemo review rating: *****
Date of reviewed show: Tuesday 5th August 2014
30 July – 25 August 2014
Performance time 15:20. Price £11-13. Book here
Shame, guilt, class, sex, lies and race are all provocatively stirred together in this fast-paced drama from Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet. The play’s riveting plot explores the attitudes of the two partners in a law firm, one African-American and the other white, who must decide whether to take on the case of a wealthy white man accused of raping an African-American woman. As the lawyers, and the defendant, try to sift facts from assumptions, shattering revelations emerge about their deepest values. The play, like the case, is not open and shut. This production from South Africa has been enthusiastically received in a country battling with the complexities of a post-apartheid society, in which residual prejudice continues to warp perceptions.
The controversial issues of race, class and gender collide in this tense, gripping thriller ‘Race’ by David Mamet. This a brilliant legal drama, superbly acted. You feel the tension rise as the intellectual sparring goes on between the male legal team (one black, one white male) and the female (African-American) intern as they debate whether or not to take on the case of a wealthy white man accused of raping an African-American woman.
They’re not in the business of losing cases and in their discussions they are essentially trying the man themselves, trying to figure out if he is guilty or not and if there’s anyway they could win the case. The many twists and turns allied of the complex issues under the spotlight make for a fascinating drama.
The serious talk is from time to time interspersed with joyous levity to lighten the mood. I thoroughly enjoyed this play as it had me gripped from start to finish. ‘Race’ features in our Top 10 list of Edinburgh Fringe 2014 shows.
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