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31 August 2011

Cultural Capital podcast: Rob Watt

An interview with the director of a new staging of Neil LaBute's controversial 9/11 play, The Mer

By Yo Zushi

In the third episode of Newstatesman.com’s Cultural Capital podcast, I talk to Rob Watt, director of a new staging of Neil LaBute‘s The Mercy Seat at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington, London. The play, which is set in New York City in the immediate aftermath of the attacks of 11 September 2001, uses the events as a backdrop to an unflinching investigation of human selfishness, dramatising the war of the sexes alongside the beginnings of an altogether more literal one. Though The Mercy Seat was controversial for its apparent lack of heroism upon its first staging in 2002, Watt, directing for Glow Box Productions, praises LaBute’s honesty: “LaBute focuses it on the person and asks: ‘What would you really do?'”

Cultural Capital podcast: Rob Watt

The Mercy Seat runs until 18 September

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Earlier episodes of the Cultural Capital podcast can be found here

Yo Zushi works for the New Statesman. His work as a musician is released by Pointy Records