Treats

This show has now closed, click here for a listing of current and future London shows

Previewed 20 February 2007, Opened 28 February 2007, Closed 26 May 2007 at the Garrick Theatre in London

A major revival of Christopher Hampton's play Treats in London starring Billie Piper along with Kris Marshall and Laurence Fox.

It seems to me, if you're frightened what people are going to say about you, you should be careful how you treat them<./em> With her egotistical ex-boyfriend, Dave, out of her life - for now! - Ann, a young professional at a struggling newspaper, takes the opportunity to rebuild her shattered confidence by - typically! - forming a 'rebound relationship' with Patrick, the office bore. Normality - of sorts! - is restored until Dave returns on a macho mission to win her back... With a barrage of belittling mockery unleashed on Ann's new love interest, and home truths mercilessly revealed at every turn, the question is who - if anyone! - will conquer this testosterone-charged battle-ground and ultimately get the girl... Christopher Hampton's Treats is a sharply observed, darkly funny drama of interchanging relationships.

The cast for Treats in London stars Billie Piper as 'Ann', along with Kris Marshall as the egotistical (ex) boyfriend 'Dave' and Laurence Fox as the 'conventional' boyfriend 'Patrick'. Billie Piper is perhaps best known nowadays for playing the role of 'Rose Tyler', Doctor Who's faithful sidekick in the new version of the cult television series Doctor Who. Her acting credits also include the television programmes The Canterbury Tales and Much Ado About Nothing. Prior to this Billie Piper had a very successful pop career with six top ten hits between 1998 and 2000, including three No.1's - 'Because We Want To', 'Girlfriend' and 'Day and Night'. Treats marks Billie Piper's London West End stage debut.

"Christopher Hampton's savagely funny play... is about a love triangle in which love plays a minimal part. It's like the Bermuda Triangle: enter and you'll never return... Laurence Boswell's production is crisp and tough, and the acting is spotless... Billie Piper knows how to act and react, has an entirely unselfconscious stage presence and gives Ann a natural, vulnerable sensuality, combined with the hard cool of an icicle." The Sunday Times

"While Christopher Hampton has updated his 1976 tragi-comic love triangle Treats with mobile phones, flat-screen televisions and references to Basra, the characters speak with an old-fashioned formality which traps them verbally and emotionally in the Seventies. Nevertheless, Treats remains a chilling, if extremely unlikely, study of a 'sadomasochistic' relationship." The Mail on Sunday

The playwright Christopher Hampton on his play Treats: Treats was the last of the five plays I wrote for the Royal Court. (The others being When Did You Last See Your Trousers?, Total Eclipse, The Philanthropist and Savages). It was also the shortest, the one which took longest to write and, by a considerable margin, the one which was least well received by the critics. It had its origins in two disparate ideas, one visual and one literary. First, I was haunted by the simple notion of a set which would represent a half-furnished room; and second, while I had naturally been delighted by the success of a translation I had made of A Doll's House, which had opened in New York in 1971 and caught the crest of the Women's Liberation wave, in retrospect there seemed something disturbing about this fashionable endorsement. Ibsen, after all, had designed the play to provoke; now it seemed the last word in social orthodoxy. And yet, as everybody knew, there were still just as many women trapped in unsatisfactory, restrictive and degrading relationships as ever there could have been in the 1870s. Inclining my head to tradition, I began writing the play on 1 April 1974. It tormented me for almost a year, during which, at various times, I rented rooms in Oxford and London in order to try to knock it on the head. Finally, early in 1976, it reached the stage. An author who sets out to provoke can hardly complain if his aim is achieved. And, in any case, slightly to our amazement, Treats broke a box-office record at the Royal Court and went on, with Michael Codron's help, to a respectable run in the West End."

Treats in London at the Garrick Theatre previewed from 20 February 2007, opened on 28 February 2007 and closed on 26 May 2007.