Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Episode 1122: The Real Thing

I think Tom Stoppard is one of those playwrights whose work is nigh impossible to mess up. My only quibble with the WUDS staging is something that can't really be helped, which is that the main actors look a bit young for the characters they're playing. That aside, I really liked minor details like Charlotte (as the character from the play-within-a-play) and Annie both munching on a Mars Bar while being accused of infidelity, or how the action on the upper stage was playing out the storylines of the secondary characters that I presume aren't in the text, since I don't have the script with me to check. This included a storyline for Max that ultimately led to the call he makes to Henry to announce his remarriage. I thought that was a nice touch, apart from the practical purpose of these segues allowing for set changes on the ground level. It's pretty interesting too, how a play that seems to start out about being about love/marriage/infidelity transitions into being about the politics of language and writing, and then bringing all these things together. I did wonder if the play was intended to contain so many of what felt like false endings, or if that was just a product of the way it'd been staged. Whatever the case though, I think I definitely need to make buying Stoppard's plays a priority.

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