How does physical beauty, or the lack of it, impact our lives? This is one of the questions that American playwright Neil LaBute raises in his provocative play REASONS TO BE PRETTY. He does this as he observes the lives of four young people who are stuck in jobs and relationships that are not working for them and who must decide what kind of people they want to be and how to spend the rest of their lives. The story: Stephanie, a young hairdresser, has learned that her boyfriend Greg, while having a few beers with his best friend Kent, called her face just “regular” as opposed to being “pretty”. Kent's wife Carly, who overheard the remark, reported it to Stephanie.  Greg assures Stephanie that he meant it as a compliment and would not trade her for a million dollars, but she does not believe him. She is so angry and hurt by his comment that she breaks off their relationship. Greg tries to win her back, but his stupid gaffe has apparently uncovered the deep insecurity that Stephanie feels about her physical appearance. This dramatic, yet comical play is not only about our obsession with physical beauty and the pressure we put on ourselves to look a certain way. The story is also about young people growing up and learning to take responsibility for their comments, choices and actions. The message is that people are more than their physical appearance and that it does not take much effort to be kind in our relationships. REASONS TO BE PRETTY was nominated in 2009 for three Tony Awards on Broadway and has just this year completed a sell-out run in London's prestigious Almeida Theatre. “It is tight, tense and emotionally true, and it portrays characters who actually seem part of the world that the rest of us live in.” (Time Magazine)

       Madeleine Hutchins and Jed Shardlow


Direction: Clifford Dean

Set Design: Mathias Wardeck

Set Design Assistance: René Ahnert

Costume Design: Patricia Royo

Lighting Design: Geoff Humphrys

Music Supervision: Paul Glaser

Stage Management and Properties: Justin Farrow and Rebecca Delmas

Hair Styling and Make-up: Hoky Siswan

London Casting: Gordon Griffin

REASONS TO BE PRETTY is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French Ltd., London


Neil LaBute is one of America's most succsessful new playwrights, having also received acclaim as a screenwriter. He has a reputation for exposing what society prefers to suppress and for saying what is usually considered unspeakable. He was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1963.

After graduating from the University of Kansas, he studied playwriting at New York University and was the recipient of a literary fellowship to continue his studies at the Royal Court Theatre, London. His plays include THIS IS HOW IT GOES (produced at The English Theatre of Hamburg in 2010), FAT PIG, THE SHAPE OF THINGS, BASH, THE MERCY SEAT, THE DISTANCE FROM HERE, SOME GIRL(S), IN A DARK DARK HOUSE, IN A FOREST DARK AND DEEP and REASONS TO BE PRETTY. LaBute's films include IN THE COMPANY OF MEN, YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS, NURSE BETTY, TUMBLE, POSSESSION and THE SHAPE OF THINGS, an adaptation of his play starring Rachel Weisz and Paul Rudd. The author is the recipient of numerous awards for his films and plays.


GREG - Jed Shardlow

STEPH - Madeleine Hutchins

KENT - Chris Casey

CARLY - Gabrielle Douglas

The English Theatre of Hamburg e.V. is a private, professional theatre, the first to be founded in the whole of Germany.

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