The Altruists
  • By Pete Shaw
  • |
  • 1st Aug 2005
  • |
  • ★★★★★

Once described as the bad-boy playwright of Off-Broadway, Nicky Silver is known for his black comedies. In The Altruists, Silver pokes fun at the politically correct with a snappy and often-times hilarious tale of 5 people in New York. Well, 6, but one of them is murdered in the opening scene.

Ronald (Croft Vaughn) is a gay social worker who has picked up Lance (Rich Tayloe) without realising he's a hustler. Meanwhile Ronald's sister and soap-actress, Sydney (Fritzie Andrade) believes she's shot her on-off boyfriend Ethan (Matt Neufeld), when in fact she's murdered the lesbian lover of habitual activist Cybil (Amy Gironda). The pace of the show is electric and the banter is side-splittingly funny. Scenes change in the blink of an eye, cutting back and forth between three apartments. Silver takes his characters on a wild ride, and in the end these do-gooders choose to save their own necks rather than practise what they preach.

The shockingly talented cast from New York handle the material so well it hurts. Split second timing is required to pull this off, and they don't disappoint. It's only a pity they have such a limited run in Edinburgh - let's hope they bring it back again next year.

Reviews by Pete Shaw

Assembly George Square Studios

The House

★★★★★
theSpace on the Mile

Grace Notes

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

The Jungle Book

★★★
Greenwich Theatre

A Midsummer Night's Dream

★★★★
Multiple Venues

A Spoonful Of Sherman

★★★★★
Pleasance Theatre

Assassins

★★★★

The Blurb

C Central, 5-13 Aug. 8.45pm (1 hour)