Play by Neil LaBute. How far would you go for love? A fast-moving and thrilling piece of theatre set on a college campus in small-town America - It's a play about relationships, art and friendship where nothing is quite what it seems.
The Shape of Things opens with a chance meeting in a museum between Evelyn, a sey, aggressive young artist and Adam, a shy, insecure student. Before long they became involved in an intense afffair which spirals into the kind of dangerous, seductive territory that LaBute does best - a modern day romance with a twist. PLEASE NOTE: Contains some strong language.
Orginal London Production - 2001
Previewed 24 May 2001, Opened 30 May 2001, Closed 23 June 2001 at the Almeida at King's Cross
Returned 18 July 2001, Closed 4 August 2001 at the Almeida at King's Cross
The cast featured Paul Rudd as 'Adam', Rachel Weisz as 'Evelyn', Gretchen Mol as 'Jenny' and Fredrick Weller as 'Philip'.
Directed by Neil Labute with sets by Giles Cadle, costumes by Lynette Meyer, lighting by Mark Henderson and sound by Fergus O'Hare.
While the Almeida Theatre's home in Islington, North London, was being refurbished they performed in a specially built but temporary theatre located in Omega Place, off Caledonian Road, in King's Cross. Due to 'public demand' the production returned, with the same cast, for a further two week run. In 2003 the play was made into a film with the same original London cast all reprising their roles.
Original West End Production - 2004
Previewed 8 May 2004, Opened 17 May 2004, Closed 12 June 2004 at the Ambassadors Theatre
A major revival of Neil LeBute's The Shape of Things in London
The cast featured Enzo Cilenti as 'Adam', Alicia Witt as 'Evelyn', Sienna Guillory as 'Jenny' and James Murray as 'Philip'.
Directed by Julian Webber with designs by Simon Higlett, lighting by Adam Silverman, music by Fraternity and sound by Richard Price.
Astounding critics and audiences alike, The Shape of Things originally premiered amidst a blaze of publicity at London's Almeida Theatre in May 2001 where it sold every ticket for every performance and immediately transferred to New York.
"The art of seduction is taken to ridiculous lengths in this cruel but funny play which ought to be required viewing for all those who take the Turner Prize seriously. The evil Evelyn might not be the sharpest pin in the pack but she's come up with what she believes is a brilliantly conceived project which should score top marks at her small-town art college. She takes tubby, bespectacled nerd Adam - a hard-working student who tries to stop her defacing a sculpture at the museum - and subjects him to a total make-over... Evelyn's reshaping of Adam is painful to witness. But it also breathes hilarious life into that normally dull question: What is art? And it offers a perfect cutting edge antidote to the old-fashioned pap in the West End." The Daily Mirror
"Despite the apparent gulf between them, Evelyn takes a fancy to Adam. She sets about subjecting him to a makeover - new clothes, a diet, a nose job, contact lenses. And then suddenly we learn that it isn't romance that has been driving her on. She has a quite different agenda. When the play was first staged in London three years ago, the revelation provided a genuine frisson. The trick doesn't work the second time round - or rather, it seems more of a trick, and what was once a thought-provoking parable about art and life now seems little more than a tall story... Alicia Witt's Evelyn has the requisite ruthlessness, but almost no sense of mystery; the other members of the cast are competent but unmemorable." The Sunday Telegraph
"Three years ago the premiere of Neil LaBute's play The Shape Of Things, about modern art, struck me as being as fresh as paint, a contemporary Pygmalion set among college graduates in America... Alas, knowing what's going to happen - and my lips are sealed - takes much of the edge off the play. A bigger problem with Julian Webber's over-stylised revival is the performances from Alicia Witt, Sienna Guillory and James Murray: Friends-style sitcom acting, everything expressed from the outside inwards, all exaggeration, neck-swivelling and goofy grimaces, so cute and utterly unfelt. A potentially absorbing debate is reduced to crude semaphore." The Mail on Sunday
The Shape of Things in London at the Ambassadors Theatre previewed from 8 May 2004, opened on 17 May 2004, and closed on 12 June 2004.