By all accounts parents Michael and Veronica Novak and Alan and Annette Raleigh are civilized adults.
So when their children are involved in a dustup at a local park that leaves the Novaks’ son without some teeth, the Novaks decide to invite the Raleighs over to discuss the situation in a civilized manner.
Unfortunately the discussion quickly turns from a civilized chat into a childish screaming match that would make John McEnroe proud.
That’s the premise behind the Nanaimo Theatre Group’s latest production, God of Carnage, which runs until May 3 at Bailey Studio.
“It’s a comedy with real elements of truth in it,” director Peggy Harris explained. “We always do something a bit more edgy or off guard than the typical murder mystery.”
To understand how edgy God of Carnage can get, the arguing between the Novaks and Raleighs becomes so intense that one of the adults refers to one of the children as a “snivelling little faggot.”
“It’s very much the hockey parent mentality,” Harris said, laughing.
God of Carnage, a Tony and Olivier award-winning play, was written by French playwright Yasmin Reza and premiered in Switzerland in 2006.
The Nanaimo Theatre Group’s cast includes Dave Bigelow (Allan Raleigh), Robb Mowbray (Michael Novak), Sherri McLean (Annette Raleigh) and Krista Endrizzi (Veronica Novak).
“It’s a superb cast that I’ve been working with,” Harris said. “It’s really been fun putting it together.”
The production touches on a handful modern themes, including responsible parenting. Harris wants audience members to question how they would react if they were in the characters’ situations.
“I wonder how most of us would behave if our children were attacked in that way?” Harris said. “Or when somebody starts questioning on our own parenting skills?”
Single tickets for God of Carnage range from $18-$20. Please visit www.nanaimotheatregroup.com.