29 December 2021
3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Force Majeure at the Donmar Theatre is a stage adaptation of the film by the same name. I hadn’t seen the film before, so went into the show not knowing much about the material. The story unfolds in a ski resort, and the stage is perfectly prepared for that.
A crunchy, thick, white floor covering on a high rake that enables actors to actually ski down the stage is perfect for this story and very interestingly used. The staging is fast paced, moving from scene to scene without lingering for too long. A story of a family barely holding it together, Force Majeure sees Tomas and Ebba and their children try to enjoy a family holiday, but it quickly spins into a full on breakdown with fights between all family members.
Most of this is due to the shitty behaviour of the husband and father, who lets his wife do all the work while also being emotionally unavailable and unable to admit when he was wrong. It’s a bit of an old stereotype that seems a bit tired nowadays. However, it is definitely not boring! There are a lot of little comedic scenes strewn in between this plot surrounding a deeply broken and conflicted man and a very neglected wife in an unhappy marriage.
Overall I really liked the show, though I can’t help but feel that the consequences in the end weren’t severe enough for how appalling Tomas’ treatment of his family actually was. It felt a bit like an outdated “oh, the poor man needs understanding from his family” trope, when zoomed in it is more of a story of a man who makes the rest of his family miserable and should probably go to therapy for a few years before even trying to patch things up with his wife. But hey, it’s still a good story except for the last ten minutes or so! And the acting and staging are absolutely superb!