Pulitzer Prize Winner, Stephen Adly Guirgis' powerful legiter "In Arabia We'd All Be Kings" takes a jaundiced look at Mayor Rudy Giuliani's 1990s New York City beautification project and its effect on a group of Hell's Kitchen locals. Out of work and strapped for money, the lives of these individuals revolve around a local bar and their misguided hopes and dreams. The play deals primarily with issues of commercialism, hope, and friendship.
The play was performed at the Hampstead Theatre in London from 24 April to 17 May 2003.
Tom Hardy received the Evening Standard Theatre Award for Outstanding Newcomer for his breakthrough performance.
CAST INCLUDED: Tom Hardy (Skank), Ashley Davies, Sam Douglas, Evelyn Duah, David Hinton, Gerry Lepkowski (Charlie), Colin McFarlane, Celia Meiras, Garfield Morgan, Deborah Weston, and Benedict Wong.
Chickie’s boyfriend, Skank, played by Tom Hardy in a remarkable stage debut, is all meaningless hand gestures and contorted body language, as he ineffectually tries to drive a hard, sexual bargain with an exploitative businessmen. The scene powerfully conveys Guirgis’s outrage at the way the poor lose out.
The Evening Standard
The play underscores the tragic truth that the human psyche yearns for stability and will eventually accept any remnant of it that can be found.
What is impressive, though, about the punchy, street-smart writing – and about the excellent performances in Robert Delamere's well-paced production – is the refusal to reduce the characters to sociological specimens.
‘A harrowing new play.’
New York Times
‘In Robert Delamere’s satisfyingly detailed production there is always the vestige of vulnerability to be found in even the most hardened exchanges, always a flash of lucidity detectable in the most deranged exchanges.’