I first learned of the American playwright Neil LaBute when I saw the London premiere of his play Reasons to be Pretty in 2011, which featured former Dr Who star Billie Piper in the cast. I was impressed with the vicious dialogue and his adept way of manipulating his characters’ relative positions of power in their relationships.
The Winterfall theatre in Northcote is currently presenting a production of LaBute’s recent play In a Forest, Dark and Deep, which focuses on the complex and fractious relationship between a middle aged brother and sister. She has asked him to help her empty a house of possessions that she has some connection with. He’s a misogynist redneck. She’s superficially charmingly but evidently flaky. Gradually the real reason why she has asked for his help emerges.