Dealing with Clair

by Maddy on 05.12.2019

Last year around this time I was going to Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg to see my first play in Luxembourg, “Abigail’s Party”. Now, I went to see “Dealing with Clair” written by Martin Crimp in 1988, so yet again a British show. This time, the play was put in place by Anne Simon, who directed “Stupid Fucking Bird” last season (which I have also seen, *wink*).

Although the play was written to portray the real estate business in the ‘80’s in UK, one can still see the resemblance in behavior in our days. The subject of the play is just a means to an end in showing the real nature of “dealing” houses and “dealing” with different types of people.

In the same period when the play was written, there was a real estate agent that disappeared after a meeting with a client. She was presumably murdered, but a body was never found. Martin Crimp denied that his work was about this case in particular, but one cannot miss the resemblance between the old case and the play.

Here, Clair (Whitney Fortmueller) is a real estate agent who is hired by Mike (Raoul Schlechter) and Liz (Elisabet Johannesdottir) for selling their house. Clair doesn’t really like the inflated price Mike and Liz ask for their house, but she goes on in finding a buyer for her clients. Everything is going well until James (Jules Werner), the mysterious art seller, comes in with a higher cash offer for Mike and Liz’s house. Clair is trapped in the middle of the new deal made between the buyer and sellers and the too much attention she receives from both men. 

Almost the whole time I was trapped in the bubble of the story and I was dying to find out what happened in the end. The acting is impeccable and I could really feel the distress Clair was put through when both Mike and James try to make advances towards her. Although, she is really clear about the fact that she doesn’t find it appropriate, both men, especially Mike, don’t look like they are understanding the hint.

The whole scent of an on-going investigation of Clair’s murder (which we don’t even know if it happened) combined with the décor and the seemingly complot between the nanny and her boyfriend make the play very intriguing. Also, the multi-dimensional plan and use of voice records made me feel like watching a reconstitution of the disappearance of Clair.

(c) Boshua

On the other hand, I was so eager to find out what happened with Clair, as her disappearance and murder weren’t unexpected from the way everything was going on, that I was mildly disappointed when it ended. I felt I was left without a point of view from the story, that the denouement was taken away from me, that I didn’t have any closure. I guess this is why everyone thinks that Martin Crimp wrote about the real case.

I recommend you go see this play, they are still playing on Saturday, 7th December. Also, if you are into dance, you can go and enjoy Blanca Li. Before Christmas I will go see Cabaret, which is on until the end of the year, I think it is an interesting show to see at this time of year.

Happy Holidays!

#dealingwithclair #lestheatresVDL