Theatre: In A Forest, Dark And Deep by Neil Labute

Summary from the Vaudeville Theatre:
On a dark and stormy night, all Bobby thought he was doing was helping his sister Betty clear out her cottage in the forest. But in this cabin of lies nothing is as it seems and the truth refuses to be packed away. What is she hiding? Does he really want to find out?
Lost heartthrob Matthew Fox will make his West End debut in the world premiere of In a Forest, Dark and Deep, written and directed by Neil LaBute. The new psychological thriller about sibling rivalry, in which British stage and screen star Olivia Williams will play his sister, will have a limited 12-week season at the Vaudeville Theatre from 14 March to 4 June 2011 (previews from 3 March).


I went to see this play last week and I was literally blown away by the story and the actors' performance. I love going to the theatre but it is sadly so expensive that I really have to think about it twice before buying a ticket. Last year I bought the cheapest fare and didn't see much of Waiting for Godot with Ian McKellen so when I saw that there was a relatively cheap ticket for a fourth row seat for this play at the Vaudeville Theatre, I really didn't hesitate!

I have been a huge fan of Olivia Williams for years. I know she usually has second roles in films, but she has always struck me as a very talented actress. And I obviously knew Matthew Fox from Lost! I thought they were both very impressive and had a great chemistry on stage.

The set was a sort of mountain chalet on two floors with loads of books. The special effects were creating a frightening atmosphere as if a storm was looming outside the set. There is also some loud rock alternative music in the theatre before the play starts and at times during the play. 

I liked the conflicting set of values between the two characters liberal vs. conservative in a way that didn't mean right vs. wrong. People working in the Arts are all very liberal so when a conservative position is portrayed, it appears negatively. Here, on the contrary, Matthew Fox's character (served by his brilliant interpretation) shows various layers of what it means to be a conservative and the hypocrisy behind more liberal ideas. 

The relation between Bobby and Betty gets tangled and is unraveled during the play. Williams and Fox's interactions and their raw interpretation gives so much depth to the play that I have been wanting to watch it again!
It is hilariously funny at times and heartbreakingly tragic at others.  From a funny vaudeville-like relation between a very different sister and her brother, the play turns into a psychological conflict where the characters start to show who they really are.

I loved this play a lot and I can't recommend it enough to fans of theatre, vaudeville and American culture. Don't miss it if you are in London!

If you like theatre, check out Jo's brilliant post "Theatre and me" on Once Upon A Bookcase.


  1. I lothe theatre too but it is just so expensive. The Globe is fairly reasonable though.

    Not sure this is my kind of thing. Bit too intellectual.

    The most recent shows I saw were Legally Blonde with my sis which was fabulous. We didn't even pay for it. We exchanged our Tesco vouchers for the tickets. And then hubby took me to see Calendar Girls which was so funny and touching.

    Theatre rocks!

  2. Ahhh, the theatre is brilliant, isn’t it? It’s such a shame that it’s so expensive. I went to see a Midsummer Night’s Dream the other day – that was really fun. I also saw Wicked on Broadway. That was great fun.

    Hmmm, sounds like an interesting play! Glad that you enjoyed it! Also, why on earth am I not following you? *hits myself and the follow button simultaneously.*