God of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza
Ferdinand beats up Bruno in the schoolyard. Someone snitches, and someone loses two front teeth. And it is hard to reconstruct which other pre-pubertal complexities may have played into the aggression. Why bother? But the parents of the two boys do: they want to know. They meet to discuss the matter, to solve the issue – so they think. What the meeting proves is that the supposedly friendly-intact couples should have got their own problems out of the way first. Instead of being a civilised discussion, their meeting is dominated by accusations, marital problems and various irrational arguments about the topic of violence, especially between men and women. Is there such a thing as good violence and bad peace? Are Ivanhoe and Spiderman still suitable role models? And could it be possible that “somehow” both sides are wrong? Increasingly alliances shift – finally, also between the couples. Because what is worse – that hyper-anxious Annette throws up over Veronique’s art books? Or that Veronique herself cares more for the wellbeing of her books than for her guests? That Michel disposed of his daughter’s hamster? Or that Alain keeps talking on his mobile phone, representing a pharmaceutical company dealing with a health-threatening drug? Jibes, taunts, battles with words, battles over words, a scuffle, a brawl.