Sunday, September 11, 2022



Written by Yasmina Reza

Translated by Christopher Hampton

Directed by Shelly Higgs

A Street Theatre Production

The Street Theatre to 11 September


Reviewed by Len Power 10 September 2022

As much a clever study of the dynamics of friendship as well as the appreciation and value of art, Yasmina Reza’s play, ‘Art’, is an intellectually stimulating as well as an entertaining work.

Originally premiered in France in 1994, a translation of the play in English by Christopher Hampton has been a huge success internationally since its first production in London in 1996.  It has won many awards including the Broadway Tony Award for Best Play in 1998.

Serge has bought a new painting for an enormous sum of money.  His highly opinionated friend, Marc, criticizes the painting and questions Serge’s decision to buy it, causing a strain on their friendship.  A mutual friend, Yvan, tries to remain neutral and smooth things over.  An all-out argument ensues in which the three men use the painting as an excuse to criticize each other for perceived personal inadequacies.

The play resonates strongly as we identify with both the differences of opinion we have about the worth and importance of works of art and the way we view and make judgements about other people in our lives.  The play, very funny on the surface, becomes a personally confronting and questioning experience.

Christopher Carroll as Marc and Craig Alexander as Yvan

Director, Shelly Higgs has given the play a stylish production with fine acting by her expert cast of three.  As Marc, Christopher Carroll gives an impressive performance as an intellectual with a formidable and uncompromising coldness.  Craig Alexander is superb as the eccentric and oafish, Yvan.  His emotional meltdown over problems with arrangements for his forthcoming marriage was a tour-de-force, earning applause from the audience mid-play.  The quieter, but sharply observational character of Serge is skilfully played by Shane Dundas.  His non-verbal and physical comedy ability was also excellent.

Shane Dundas as Serge

The stylish set and costume design by Imogen Keen cleverly captured the essence of these three men and their different homes with simple and subtle changes.  The lighting design with its sharp brilliance by Gerry Corcoran gave the play a heightened reality and the sound design by Kimmo Vennonen added greatly to the atmosphere of the play.

This fine play with its excellent production and performances is a highly satisfying and enjoyable experience.

Photos by Creswick Collective 

Len Power's reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7 in the ‘Arts Cafe’ and ‘Arts About’ programs and published in his blog 'Just Power Writing' at