Posts Tagged ‘Found111’

When Tooting Arts Club found this temporary space and used it back in October for Barbarians, it seemed so right. The material connected with the space, they used three separate parts of the building for the three short plays and the staging made great use of the space and its unique atmosphere. My first thought on this is why is it here? Does it gain anything by being here? Perhaps some intimacy, but it would have worked better in similarly priced Off-West End venues like The Donmar, Almeida, Dorfman & Hampstead. The intimacy too comes at the expense of poor sight lines (particularly on the un-raked second row and at the far sides – you have been warned) and traffic noise directly outside.

This is only the third Richard Greenberg play to be produced in London (out of 24 original works). I liked the other two but I didn’t really like this. I find it hard to like a play all of whose characters I don’t like. It’s the beginning of the 20th century in New York. Langley Collyer is a concert pianist. His brother Homer has given up his job as an Admiralty Lawyer to be his bother’s keeper. Milly enters their lives and plays psychological games with Homer, whose brother is oblivious because of his low emotional intelligence. Milly is a socialite and heiress and the possessive Homer sanctions her marriage to Langley as it will help solve their financial problems. The first act ends as they are about to marry.

When we return we discover they didn’t marry. Milly subsequently got pregnant, had a termination, her family disown and disinherit her and she falls on hard times. Langley stops playing and both brothers descend from eccentricity to madness. Homer invites Milly to stay with hints he may marry her. All three decline dramatically and it becomes deeply tragic.

The performances of Andrew Scott, David Dawson and Joanna Vanderham are all outstanding, but I still didn’t like this bleak and desolate play based on real life characters, and I didn’t feel it belonged here, as Barbarians did.

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