Sew what? asks this drama by Anthony Neilson. The playwright is a proponent of Britain’s in-yer-face theater, a naughtily assaultive style that confronts the audience with extreme situations and language. In Stitching, now making its American debut, a young couple chooses whether or not to terminate a pregnancy. This decision will ultimately lead our heroine to practice her home-ec skills on her lady parts.
Director Tim Haskell typically stages pop-culture-saturated plays, adaptations of ’80s flicks like Road House and Fatal Attraction. He’s also the impresario behind the annual haunted house “Nightmare,” so perhaps these dark materials had a particular appeal for him. Stitching‘s subject matter really ought to shock. Yet Abby (Meital Dohan) and Stu (Gian-Murray Gianino) never emerge as real characters, making it difficult to care much for their plight—or for her eventual mutilation. Handsome Gianino often has to strain for effect, while Dohan—an attractive woman wearing far too much makeup—frequently appears to be acting in a play all her own. Really, there’s only one thing to say about this needle-and-thread piece that tries and fails to disturb audience sensibilities: Darn!