Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Glass Menagerie: Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh, 31 January 2008

A delayed review of a marvellous production by Jemima Levick of the Tennessee Williams classic, which I hadn't previously known at all. I took my son to see it, and he was as entranced as I was. First of all, the set (by Jessica Brettle) used the full height of the stage, right up into the fly tower, and hovered on the boundary of realistic and symbolic, while providing everything the actors needed in terms of spaces. Hard to say that any of the cast were better than the others, though if forced to it I'd go for Nicola Harrison as Laura, for bursting out of the prison of her lines with some terrific non-verbal acting. Joseph Arkley as Tom was completely believable, as was Antony Eden as Jim. Amanda Wingfield, Tom's mother, is one of those larger-than-life Tennessee Williams parts which must make it very easy for an actress to sleepwalk into parody, but Barbara Marten handled the least grateful role in the drama with aplomb. In this production, the play was never comfortable, though it was sometimes very funny. The actors brought the characters to life so that you really did wonder what became of them afterwards, yet the emotion never overwhelmed you, nor should it.


At 19 February, 2008 16:53, Anonymous JoeInVegas said...

My, you get to attend so many interesting performances.
I know that you have mentioned liking Indian musicals in the past. I love the dancing sequences: huge casts dancing around the hills and all, but could never understand the singing. I came across a video with subtitles today, very helpful.

At 20 February, 2008 00:44, Blogger Rob said...

Shades of the "Songs of Praise" clip I linked recently.....

But really, what's to understand? Thousands of Indian guys/gals dancing for no reason. Whatever. The end. It's the films where there IS some excuse for the singing/dancing (Lagaan, Dil Chahta Hai, The Rising) that stand out from the pack. Meanwhile, sit back and enjoy the spectacle. I understand that the best way to see Bollywood films is projected onto a sheet in a deep rural village. Second best, I suppose, is a packed-out cinema in central Delhi, which I did manage. Even without subtitles I didn't miss too much (the Indian habit of switching from Hindi to English and back within sentences helps).

Now all raise a glass to Richard Wagner who invented the deliberate Mondegreen-for-comic-effect in The Mastersingers of Nuremburg.


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