Recent Almeida–LaBute collaborations have had dark subjects (The Distance From Here featured infanticide) and his latest focuses on the great catastrophe of the 9/11 attacks on New York. However, among the city’s chaotic panic, LaBute depicts two characters, Ben and Abby, who can choose whether the attacks are, for them, a tragedy—or an opportunity. Do they join the invisible crowds of missing persons and start new lives, with different identities? The Almeida’s artistic director Michael Attenborough directs two of the UK’s leading actors. Sinead Cusack (last seen in New York in Our Lady Of Sligo) plays Abby, with John Hannah (“Four Weddings And A Funeral”, “Sliding Doors” and “The Mummy”) as Ben.
The Mercy Seat had its November 2002 world premiere at New York’s MCC Theatre. Previous Almeida productions of LaBute’s work include bash, The Distance From Here and The Shape of Things (which transferred to New York with the same cast and was subsequently made into a 2003 film, starring Almeida leads Rachel Weisz and Paul Rudd).
The Almeida Theatre is on Almeida Street. For ticket information call (0)207 359 4404, or visit www.almeida.co.uk(http://www.almeida.co.uk/)