When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other: (seen at the afternoon
performance on 7th February 2019). If you are not familiar with the book
"Pamela," then reading the programme notes beforehand will add depth to the
first scene, which is a pretty garbled attempt at explaining the situation and
what will follow. Basically, in "Pamela" a master wants to seduce a maid. In
this, an older couple recruit three young women and a young man to stand in
their double-garage and watch them explore the same fantasy - occasionally
breaking off for a drink or to duff up the aforementioned young man.
It is often said that long explanations of deep and meaningful dreams are of
interest to yourself, closest relative and analysts only. Certainly, this proves
that they are of absolutely no interest to a paying audience of Theatremonkey at
least. There is considerably more truth and psychological insight into a
couple's relationship in a home adult movie than this dirge of meaningless words
and well-choreographed wig-changes.
There's an argument that Martin Crimp is attempting to demonstrate that even
adopting female guise, the male is still in control with the woman stereotyped,
but this we knew. As the Woman, Cate Blanchett drifts around in the expected
outfits - at the end explaining where the usual rubber asp the National use for
"Antony & Cleopatra" got pre-booked before the Olivier production could cast it.
An odd mixture of accents, mostly successful, just had her screaming for a
better play to utilise her skills. Man Stephen Dillane also had little to do
beyond switching accents and bearing as well as gender and comes out of it with
equal credit for survival.
As Mrs Jewkes, Jessica Gunning probably has the best defined role, her
observations on body size and image the only truly resonant note for the monkey.
Ross (Craig Miller) does well in scenes where his non-comprehension is required,
and displays talent in the fight sequences. Girl 2 (Babirye Bukilwa) and Girl 1
(Emma Hindle) are mostly accessories to the fact, begging for more involvement
to justify their symbolic presence.
The very hottest ticket of the year is alas stone cold, but the talent is
strong. For anything more on the actual subject it is trying to address, the
monkey rather prefers Amia Srinivasan's essay in the programme.
Downstate: Not available.
The Winter's Tale: Not available.
Anna: Not available.