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House of Games, Almeida Theatre | reviews, news & interviews

House of Games, Almeida Theatre

House of Games, Almeida Theatre

The con is on, but you may feel cheated by Richard Bean's new take on Mamet

Desire and deception: Michael Landes and Nancy Carroll in 'House of Games'Simon Annand

“I think men will enjoy the thriller aspect,” pronounces the heroine of this audaciously tortuous tale. “The machismo, the twists, the sex.” She may well be right; but if the men get all the best lines, there’s plenty here for women with an appetite for a bit of slick chicanery to relish too. Margaret, writer and celebrated shrink, is describing her own latest pot boiler. But she’s also summarising the plot of Richard Bean’s play, in turn based on David Mamet’s screenplay for the movie that marked his directorial screen debut back in 1987.

Bean’s version is full of switchblade-sharp lines and the poker-table repartee drips with testosterone

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