Skip to main content

The Parade

Citizens Theatre, Glasgow
3 stars
A languid sense of ennui pervades the atmosphere of Glasgay!’s latest exploration of Tennessee Williams’ lesser-known works, as middle-aged playwright Don suns both himself and his desires beside pretty-boy actor Rich. Rich teases the older man like some beach bum Mr Sloane, aware of his beauty and promising much, but unwilling to deliver. Just as such pan-generational heavy breathing looks like it might turn into some death on Venice beach scenario, a third party, Miriam, enters as Rich leaves. She too wants something she knows she’ll never have, but, unlike Rich, meets Don on equal terms via extended musings on Jung, Freud and Marx. Most of all, though, Miriam becomes a sounding board for Don’s self-obsessive yearning after the parade of the play’s title, a crazed, discordant mess called love.

Completed in 1940 but not performed until 2006, Laurance Rudic’s approach to Williams’ early miniature looks timelessly contemporary. Fleshed out with modern expletives and some vogueishly me-generation reference points, however, it actually smacks of the strung-out post-party tristesse which the burnt-out 1960s jet-set had to square up to now they had time on their hands. Either that or a set-piece from some glossy TV soap self-reflexively homaging celebrity excesses on their own doorstep.

This is accentuated by avoiding the southern gentleman camp Williams is usually played with for a more Pinteresque opacity and some Method-style internalisation from Rudic as Don, Alex Harries as Rich and Canadian actress Adrienne Zitt as Miriam. The effect may at times appear self-conscious, but, as the Sun fades into dusk, what remains is an oddly mesmeric meditation on unrequited desire and lust for life turned sour.

The Herald, October 24th 2008

ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Suzy Glass – Message from the Skies

Freedom of movement matters to Suzy Glass, the arts and events producer currently overseeing the second edition of Message from the Skies.This animated literary derive around the city forms part of this year’s Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme, and runs right through till Burns’ Night. Glass’ concerns are inherent in the event itself, which has commissioned six writers from different disciplines and experiences to each pen a love letter to Europe. Each writer has then paired up with a composer and visual artist or film-maker, with the results of each collaboration projected in monumental fashion on the walls of one of half a dozen of the capital’s most iconic buildings.
With venues stretching from the south side of Edinburgh to Leith, and with one city centre stop requiring a walk up Calton Hill, there is considerable legwork required to complete the circuit. It shouldn’t be considered a race, however, and audiences are free to move between venues at their leisure, visiting each site on d…

Kieran Hurley – Mouthpiece

Things have changed since Kieran Hurley first began writing the play that would become Mouthpiece, which opens at the Traverse Theatre in Edinburgh this weekend. At the time, Hurley was, in his own words, “quite new on the scene.” As a writer and performer, he had already scored hits with Beats and Chalk Farm, two pieces that put him on the map with a new generation of theatre-makers steeped in an equally new wave of grassroots opposition that drew from the iconography of revolutions past. Where Beats looked at the politicisation of 1990s club culture, Chalk Farm, co-written with AJ Taudevin, focused on a teenage boy caught up in the 2011 London riots.
More plays followed. Some, like Heads Up used the same solo story-telling aesthetic to look at an everyday apocalypse. More recently, Square Go, written with Gary McNair, dissected toxic masculinity through a school playground fight.
All the while as Hurley developed as a writer, from new kid on the block to established provocateur, this…

Rob Drummond – The Mack

Rob Drummond was at home in England when he looked at the news feed on his phone, and saw a post about the fire at Glasgow School of Art. It was June 2018, and the writer and performer behind such hits as Grain in the Blood, Bullet Catch and Our Fathers initially presumed the post was to mark the fourth anniversary of the 2014 blaze in GSA’s Mackintosh Building, which was undergoing a major restoration after much of it was destroyed.
As it turned out, the news was far worse, as reports of a second fire were beamed across the world. As someone who had taken Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s iconic construction for granted while living in Glasgow, Drummond was as stunned as anyone else with even a passing relationship with the Mack.
While emotions continue to run high in response to the disaster, Drummond channelled his thoughts on all this into what he does best. The result is The Mack, a new play that forms part of Oran Mor’s A Play, A Pie and a Pint lunchtime theatre season in Glasgow prior …