Smelling a Rat
A black comedy/farce from the acclaimed film-maker and author of Abigail's Party.
Returning home unexpectedly from holiday, Rex Weasel, owner of the Vermination Pest Control Company, hides in a wardrobe when he hears intruders. It's his employee Vic Maggot with his wife out on a spree - but they also have to hide when Weasel's gormless son turns up with his garrulous girlfriend.
The comedy frantically approaches farce, but the drama is continuously underscored by Leigh's trademark ability to create conversations that are both painful and hilarious in their banal accuracy.
Mike Leigh's play Smelling a Rat premiered at Hampstead Theatre, London, in 1988.
'Mike Leigh has a wonderful gift for conversation so rock-bottom-boring that it is hilarious'Observer
'His strength is his satirical observation of English tribal customs... Like Ayckbourn, he uses farce to expose the dire consequences of emotional cruelty: the result is both consistently funny and extremely disturbing'Michael Billington
Cast: 2f 3m
Staging:Single interior set
Performing rights not held by Nick Hern Books
19 Sep 1996Size: 200mm x 125mm
Also by Mike Leigh: