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Life X 3

Life X 3
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Yasmina Reza
Translated by: Christopher Hampton
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 2007
ISBN-10: 0822219581
ISBN-13: 9780822219583
Cast Size: 2 women, 2 men

About the Play:

Life X 3 is a full-length drama by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton. Do you believe in déjà vu, parallel universes, or just wish that we could have a "do-over" with certain situations in life? How would the events, our moods and emotions, reactions and consequences differ when put in the same but different circumstances? In Life X 3, we watch two couples re-live the same dinner party three times in a row, each time exhibiting different personality traits that lead to three unique endings to their "casual" get together. A deliciously dark comedy from the author of Art.

Life X 3 is a study of how the simplest and most random of events can change the outcomes in life. Henry and Sonia are having a difficult evening with Arnaud, their wakeful six-year-old son; but Henry has other worries. About to publish the results of two years' research on the flatness of galaxy halos, he's desperate to make a good impression on the distinguished astrophysicist Hubert Finidori, who wields a decisive influence over the question of Henry's longed-for promotion. So when Hubert arrives with his rebellious wife, Inez, in tow for dinner on the wrong night, the fact that there is no food in the apartment (merely an ample supply of Sancerre) is only one of the potentially disastrous elements in play. Add to this Hubert's often brutal treatment of Inez; his lust for Sonia; Inez's weak head for alcohol; Henry's discovery that rival scientists may have beaten him to the punch; Sonia's equivocal feeling of attraction towards Hubert; and the entirely unpredictable behaviour of the invisible Arnaud – and the stage is set for a catastrophic unravelling of normal civilized behaviour. But will it be this kind of catastrophe? Or that? Or, perhaps, worse still, will catastrophe be averted altogether? The twist in the tale is this disastrous dinner party is played out three times, with subtle differences, providing a fascinating insight into how our realities can be altered by nuances of language and our subsequent reactions. An original, hilarious and ultimately thought-provoking addition to an increasingly impressive body of work from Yasmina Reza, one of the most fascinating and distinctive voices of the contemporary theatre.

Trois versions de la vie (literally Three versions of life) is the fifth play by the French writer Yasmina Reza. It was premiered in 2000 at the Théâtre Antoine in Paris. Its English translation by Christopher Hampton, under the title Life x 3, premiered in 2000 at the Lyttleton auditorium of the Royal National Theatre to coincide with the French premiere, and made its way to Broadway three years later at Circle on the Square Theatre. Since then the play has been successfully staged at several professional and college theatres.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men

What people say:

"[Reza] is the most exported living playwright on the planet, a woman whose culturally rich background has given her real insight into the melting pot of today's society ... Life X 3 ruminate[s] on man's place in the universe ... Her amalgamation of laughs with smart arguments and flashes of raw emotion is a crowd-pulling recipe ... [Her] social satire is often cryingly funny." — The Independent (London)

"…elegantly streaked with troubling shadows and shaped with Cartesian symmetry." — The New York Times

"Yasmina Reza's new play is an elegant enigma…as an intellectual construct, the play is fascinating." — The Guardian (London)

"Minimally, millennially chic… Life X 3 is swift, sharply phrased, poised and awash with uncertainty." — The Observer (London)

"[An] extraordinary play… The writing is brisk, brittle, funny and lethally accurate." — The Sunday Times (London)

"[Reza] has perfected the technique of combining light comedy with the play of ideas ... [Life X 3]is clever, it's elegant, it's entertaining." — The Daily Telegraph (London)

"The Grand Chaos Theory ... is applied to a Parisian dinner-party in Yasmina Reza's delightful ... comedy of manners. Life X 3 is designed to show how chance, with its impact upon our actions and behaviour, changes everything ... A wicked pleasure to behold. Miss Reza is a star-reporter at the sex-war front and a thorough mocker of male pretensions." — The Evening Standard (London)

About the Playwright:

Yasmina Reza is an acclaimed French playwright, screenwriter, and novelist. Her plays have been adapted in over 35 languages and performed throughout the world in hundreds of productions as diverse as the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National in London, the Berliner or the Schaubühne in Berlin, the Burgteater in Vienna, as well as some of the world’s most celebrated theatres from Moscow to Broadway. She lives in Paris.

Christopher Hampton is a British playwright, screenwriter, director, producer, and a consummate translator and adaptor of novels. He is perhaps most famous for his play Les Liaisons Dangereuses (based on the novel by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos), which won an Olivier Award in 1986. He adapted the play for film and won an Oscar for the screenplay. His theatre work includes the stage adaptation of Sunset Boulevard for Andrew Lloyd Webber, which received Tony Awards for both Book and Lyrics. He has translated a wide range of works including classics by Chekhov, Ibsen and Moliere as well as contemporary plays by Yasmina Reza and Florian Zeller. His long list of screenplays includes A Doll's House, The Good Father, Total Eclipse, and The Quiet American.

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