Neil LaBute: Plays 1: Filthy Talk for Troubled Times; The Mercy Seat; Some Girl(s); This Is How It Goes; Helter Skelter; A Second of Pleasure
Filthy Talk for Troubled Time is one of his earliest plays. A downbeat night at a topless bar exposes the gulf between the twitchy clientele and the waitresses who serve but despise them. The Mercy Seat examines a couple who, on the day after a world-changing atrocity, toy with exploiting it to start a new life. Some Girl(s) follows a young writer's panicked retreat from his imminent wedding as he seeks out old girlfriends and opens new wounds, while in This Is How It Goes the breakdown of a seemingly successful marriage is complicated by submerged bigotry and hatred. The collection also includes two short plays about relationships in crisis - A Second of Pleasure and Helter Skelter - which are in equal part tender and chilling. Together these plays form a complex and compelling portrait of the sexes - sometimes warring, sometimes loving, but never fully at peace.