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Previewed 7 January 2009, Opened 28 January 2009, Closed 21 February 2009 at the Old Vic Theatre in London
The World Premiere of Joe Sutton's play Complicit in London directed by Kevin Spacey and starring Richard Dreyfuss, Elizabeth McGovern and David Suchet.
Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ben Kritzer finds himself in front of a Supreme Court Grand Jury faced with his own choice. As liberties are stripped away can you ever know what is being perpetrated in your name? The Old Vic's Artistic Director Kevin Spacey returns to the theatre's stage to direct the world premiere of Joe Sutton's new play - a thrilling look at our current political climate.
There's a hard road, there's an easy road - which would you take?
The cast for Complicit in London features Richard Dreyfuss as 'Ben Kritzer', Elizabeth McGovern as 'Judith Brown' and David Suchet as 'Roger Cowan'. It is directed 'in-the-round' by Kevin Spacey with designs by Rob Howell, lighting by Howard Harrison, projections by Jon Driscoll and sound by Simon Baker.
"Despite some early problems with the play - Richard Dreyfuss reportedly had trouble learning his lines and last night wore a visible ear piece - he embraces the power of the role with a fierce determination. He brings a genuine sense of anguish to a dilemma that means facing 20 years in prison if he refuses to name his source - thus ruining his life and his family's. Dreyfuss handles well the personal horror of a man who is undergoing moral trauma. But, it must be said, that the evening really goes to the ever brilliant David Suchet as his defiant lawyer Roger Cowan. He presents a picture of an advocate who is both silkily sly and cunningly belligerent in his attempt to persuade his increasingly terrified client to name the source. He never wavers in this portrayal of a lawyer to whom scruples are as flexible as rubber bands. Elizabeth McGovern is less impressive as Kritzer's unsupportive wife Judith and there are moments when her words are indistinct - and she looks too young to be his wife, more his daughter... Complicit packs a powerful message about state-inspired hypocrisy when it comes to torture." The Daily Express
"Joe Sutton, having declined to write a head-on courtroom drama, focuses his chamber piece, alternately, on scenes at home between Kritzer and his wife, Elizabeth McGovern's Judith, and heated tête-à-têtes in a Supreme Court side room with his lawyer, David Suchet's Roger... Kevin Spacey's in-the-round staging racks up the tension, hemming in his actors. However, they strain to keep the pressure mounting when the momentum drops, with Kritzer digging in his heels. Complicit admirably raises big questions about moral choices and compromise yet the piece is structurally garbled, with the journalist's stance on torture forever chopping and changing." The Independent on Sunday
"Joe Sutton's Complicit examines the moral agony of a respected journalist called Benjamin Kritzer, pressured hard by the US authorities to reveal a CIA source... It looks like a good setup for a serious debate play. Richard Dreyfuss, as Kritzer, is compelling and sincere, and David Suchet is excellent as his worldly, commanding lawyer. There's a lot of lazy, undifferentiated swearing, though, and the dialogue is often poor.... This is a deeply flawed and untrustworthy play, for one simple reason. As a programme note points out: " Complicit is a work of fiction. It contains allegations about the policies of the United States government and its war on terror that are solely the invention of its author." Yes, we are in the foggy land of docudrama." The Sunday Times
Complicit in London at the Old Vic Theatre previewed from 7 January 2009, opened on 28 January 2009 and closed on 21 February 2009.