I thought I might post my impressions of our two play assignments here on the blog.
An Ideal Husband
Lacked spectacle, in my opinion. The set was admirably simple, with the bare minimum to indicate the time and place, and doing so very effectively. But such a bare setting demanded that the space be filled with the performances, which I found rather tame. With the exception of Phipps (best actor in the play) and Caversham, everyone else spoke their insults and their greetings with the same diction and intonation. From a playwriting point of view, I think that was the most problematic issue of this production: the non-verbal didn’t convey the meaning of the verbal.
Very tight, making the most of its resources. Powerful, too (the image of the inmate screaming with the bag on its head and handing out the flowers will haunt me for quite some time). The revelation of the inmate being the girl’s father could have been more concrete – because of the fragmented form, there is a lot of plot to absorb. Other than that revelation, the play seemed to be clear where it needed and fuzzy where it didn’t matter (or where it was best served by being fuzzy). I’m also not sure how the doctor and the torturer met after their discharge, and it’s sort of important, but it didn’t prevent me from understanding and enjoying the play.
Loved the sadomasochistic tension that developed between victim and aggressor -- it touches very deep, essential issues of human nature, and very concisely, I might add. Reminded me of the movies Black Snake Moan and Blue Velvet.