David Benedict on theatre

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Indy Lifestyle Online
'It's a cross between Total Recall and Glengarry Glen Ross.' Director Derek Wax is deep in rehearsals for Rod Williams's new play, The Life of the World to Come (below), a satire on wealth, health and American corporate life, which Midnight Theatre Company is about to open at the Almeida.

Williams's last play, No Remission, was the runner-up for the Mobil Playwrighting Award and Wax was astute enough to pick it up when other more established companies passed it by. The London premiere caused something of a sensation. As a result, the Arts Council provided money to commission his latest play.

Running a new writing company is a tough game. A disproportionate amount of time is spent fundraising. Yet Wax and his associate director are ambitious on behalf of their writers. The three-week run at the Almeida is dangerously expensive. 'It's risky or daring, depending on which way you look at it. We could have done the play at a repertory theatre out of town, but we felt the Almeida offered a better chance of taking the play forward.'

Their ambitions extend some way into the future. They are negotiating with Leicester Haymarket to premiere Phyllis Nagy's Disappeared, coincidentally the runner-up for last year's Mobil Award. 'Both of them have incredibly distinctive voices. You can really see the worlds they create. Their work is uncategorisable. I love that.'

'The Life of the World to Come' opens at the Almeida on Wednesday. Box office: 071-359 4404

(Photograph omitted)