DOI: 10.5040/9781784602789.00000002
Scenes: 9. Roles: Male (7) , Female (7) , Neutral (0)

Mike Bartlett's Game is a play that explores ideas about aspiration and voyeurism, focussing on a young couple trying to create a home amidst a housing crisis. When offered the house of their dreams, a moral and ethical dilemma unfolds as the couple discover how far they are willing to go to retain it, and at what personal cost. Game was first performed at the Almeida Theatre, London, on 23 February 2015.

The play's action takes place in two adjacent, interrelated spaces: 'the house', where the young couple, Carly and Ashley, live; and 'the hides', where David, an ex-soldier, supervises punters paying £500 a go to fire tranquiliser shots at the occupants of the house. As the stakes are raised ever higher, Carly and Ashley find that they can no longer enjoy any kind of privacy, and even their nine-year-old son Liam is a legitimate target.

For the Almeida Theatre premiere, directed by Sacha Wares and designed by Miriam Buether, the auditorium was remodelled with the audience seated in dark, camouflage-draped 'hides', viewing the action via TV monitors with direct sight into the mocked-up, two-floor living space also granted by rising and falling shutters. Headphones worn by audience members relayed voice-simulated instructions and live-feed dialogue.

The cast was Georgina Beedle, Clare Burt, Daniel Cerqueira, Laurence Grant, Kevin Harvey (as David), Chloe Hesar, Jodie McNee (as Carly), Mike Noble (as Ashley), Ben Righton, Richard Sumitro and Susan Wokoma, with Oscar Bennett, Jonah Miller and Ben Roberts alternating as Liam.

From Game

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Nick Hern Books

Mike Bartlett

ISBN: 9781848424722

Series: NHB Modern Plays

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