Stanton Treads the Boards, Almost

My Zinc Bed, a new play by one of Britain's most notable stage directors, David Hare (who directed Nicole Kidman to such good effect in The Blue Room), examines capitalism and addiction in the Internet age. The Playbill for this production at London's Royal Court Theatre features a long quote from Diseasing of America:

[A]ddiction is not a chemical side effect of a drug. Rather, addiction is a direct result of the psychoactive effects of a substance — of the way it changes our sensations. The experience itself is what the person becomes addicted to. In other words, when narcotics relieve pain, or when cocaine produces a feeling of exhilaration, or when alcohol or gambling creates a sense of power, or when shopping or eating indicates to people that they are being cared for, it is the feeling to which the person becomes addicted. No other explanation — about supposed chemical bondings or inbred biological deficiencies — is required. And none of these other theories comes close to making sense of the most obvious aspects of addiction.

Some people seem to behave excessively in all areas of life, including using drugs heavily. This even extends into legal drug use. For example, those who smoke also drink more coffee. But this tendency to do unhealthy or antisocial things extends beyond the simple use of drugs. Illicit drug users have more accidents even when not using drugs. Those arrested for drunk driving frequently also have arrest records for traffic violations when they aren't drunk. In other words, people who get drunk and go out on the road are frequently the same people who drive recklessly when they're sober. In the same way, smokers have the highest rates of car accidents and traffic violations, and are more likely to drink when they drive. That people misuse many drugs at once and engage in other risky and antisocial behaviors at the same time suggests that these are people who don't especially value their bodies and health or the health of the people around them.

7 September - 28 October at 7.30pm. Saturday matinees at 3.30pm.
Direction: David Hare. Design: Vicki Mortimer.
Lighting: Rick Fisher. Sound: Paul Arditti.
Cast: Steven Mackintosh, Julia Ormond, Tom Wilkinson.
Royal Court Theatre

My Zinc Bed, Written & directed by David Hare

"If you don't believe the rich spend their time on this earth effectively fucking over the poor, I don't see how you make any sense of what goes on in the world at all."

A successful entrepreneur, Victor Quinn (Tom Wilkinson, The Full Monty, Shakespeare in Love), employs a young poet, Paul Peplow (Steven Mackintosh, Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Our Mutual Friend), to decorate the legend of his fast-growing Internet business. Paul's growing friendship with Victor's wife Elsa (Julia Ormond, Legends of the Fall, Sabrina) ensures that nothing prepares either man for an outcome which makes for a compelling story of romance and addiction.