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Blame for the pregnancy is placed on a luckless security man, Lamb, who, if not exactly led to the slaughter, is reduced to a state of catatonia. And the desperate Roote finds himself drawn into the web of guilt by his staff including the openly insubordinate Lush, the mockingly sexual Miss Cutts and the Machiavellian organisation man Gibbs. It is, in the end, a deeply moral play suggesting that state-sanctioned torture and cruelty exist but are inexorably undermined by their disregard of the natural laws.


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It is also a biliously funny play and the casting of Simon Russell Beale as Roote ensures that the laughs come thick and fast. He is hilarious as he reacts to the news of one patient's death with a look of thunderstruck horror and, in seeking to identify the impregnated party, dreamily enquires "Quite a sensual sort of face?

I laughed incessantly at Russell Beale's performance but his Roote seems to be in a state of incipient collapse from the off whereas Pinter, when he played the role, showed us a figure of awesome power who only disintegrated as the play progressed.

John Simm as Gibbs & Simon Russell Beale as Roote

John Simm, however, is flawless as the conniving Gibbs suggesting the perennial company man, even down to the pens in his breast pocket, with all the instincts of a serpent. And there is a wealth of fine supporting performances. John Heffernan as the mutinous Lush is a dangerous dandy in a purple suit, Harry Melling as the sacrificial Lamb has all the nervous energy of the promotion-hungry newcomer and Indira Varma as Miss Cutts is a sumptuous mix of parodic vamp and the Lady Macbeth of the filing cabinets.

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Former location of The Hothouse

No purchase necessary. Offer available only in the U. Offer subject to change without notice. Often when an artist dusts off a work that he or she put aside a long time ago and presents it to the public, one can see why it was shelved in the first place.

Harold Pinter wrote The Hothouse in , during what was perhaps his most inspired period of writing wherein he produced The Birthday Party and The Homecoming. One could be forgiven for wondering if there was a problem with it, but happily this is not the case. The writing is sharp, witty, and deftly satirical, with a lingering sinister undertone.

The Hothouse | Boston Theatre Scene

On Christmas Day in a government-run mental institution, officious underling Gibbs Leo Marks has come to inform the hospital administrator, Roote Josh Clark , about a couple of important things. Namely, one patient has given birth and another has died. As all the patients are customarily locked in their rooms by low-level employee Lamb Steve Hofvendahl , this situation implies rape and murder by a staff member or members.