Skip to main content

The Last Yankee

Summerhall, Edinburgh
Four stars


Disappointment pulses throughout every second of Arthur Miller's late
period 1993 play, revived here by Rapture Theatre as the second part of the
company's 100 Years of Miller celebrations following their large scale tour of
All My Sons last month. It's there on the face of Leroy Hamilton, the wilfully
underachieving descendent of one of America's founding fathers, who sits in the
waiting room of the state mental hospital where his wife Patricia is spending a
third period in an attempt to keep her depression at bay. It's there too in the
face of John Frick, who may have embraced the American Dream that Hamilton
rejected, but whose own wife Karen is in the same hospital. Most of all,
however, it is Patricia's soul itself that is so fatefully marked by failed
expectations as she attempts to take control of her life once more.

It's key to Miller's chamber piece that we see how men are prior to the doors opening on
Patricia and Karen's world, and director Michael Emans has cast things
beautifully. David Tarkenter's banjo playing Leroy is an insular, mono-syllabic
sociopath in stark counterpoint to Stewart Porter's bluff Frick, the epitome of
a blue-collar capitalist success story. It is Jane McCarry's sad-eyed Karen and
especially Pauline Turner's furiously self-determined Patricia who are
psychologically crippled by the long-term side-effects of their respective
husbands choices in life.

Touring as part of this year's Scottish Mental Health
Arts and Film Festival, Emans' production is a fascinating glimpse into one of
Miller's most intimate works in which an entire system seems to have left its
casualties in need of collective medication.

The Herald, October 5th 2015


Ends

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art School Dance Goes On Forever – Snapshots Of Masters Of The Multiverse

Intro – Snapshots – Deaf School

1

In 1980, the same year as the Manchester band, Magazine, released a 7
inch single called A Song From Under The Floorboards – a three verse
and chorus distillation of Dostoyevsky's novel, Notes From Underground
– an art school scandal occurred.

This scandal took place in Liverpool, and was based around a project
called the Furbelows, although it became better known in the Liverpool
Echo and other organs that reported it as the Woolly Nudes.

The Furbelows, or Woolly Nudes, were a group of artists who had come
out of Liverpool College of Art, who, dressed in grotesque woolly
costumes which featured knitted approximations of male and female
genitalia, made assorted public interventions around the city centre as
kind of living sculptures acting out assorted narratives.

The Furbelows project had been funded by what was then Merseyside Arts
Association, and, after the participants were arrested and taken to
court on obscenity charges after what…

Peter Brook – The Prisoner

Peter Brook is no stranger to Scotland, ever since the guru of European and world theatre first brought his nine-hour epic, The Mahabharata, to Glasgow in 1988. That was at the city’s old transport museum, which by 1990 had become Tramway, the still-functioning permanent venue that opened up Glasgow and Scotland as a major channel for international theatre in a way that had previously only been on offer at Edinburgh International Festival.
Brook and his Paris-based Theatre des Bouffes du Nord company’s relationship with Tramway saw him bring his productions of La Tragedie de Carmen, La Tempete, Pellease et Mellisande, The Man Who…, and Oh Les Beaux Jours – the French version of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days – to Glasgow.
Thirty years on from The Mahabharata, Brook comes to EIF with another piece of pan-global theatre as part of a residency by Theatre des Bouffes du Nord, which Brook has led since he decamped to Paris from London in the early 1970s. The current Edinburgh residency has alr…

Romeo And Juliet - Shakespeare's Globe Comes to Glasgow

Open-air Shakepeares are a summer-time perennial of the theatre calendar, attracting picnicking audiences as much as midges. More often than not, such romps through the grass are frothy, heritage industry affairs designed to be accompanied by strawberries and cream and not to be taken too seriously. Shakespeare’s Globe theatre company look set to change such perceptions when they open their outdoor tour of Romeo And Juliet in Glasgow next week as part of the West End festival.

For the two young actors taking the title roles of the doomed lovers, it will also be something of a homecoming. Richard Madden and Ellie Piercy both studied in Glasgow prior to turning professional. Indeed, Madden has yet to graduate from the acting course at RSAMD, and, as well as facing the pressures of playing such a meaty role in close proximity to the audience, will have the added anxiety of being assessed and graded by his tutors.

“This is the end of my third year,” says Madden following a Saturday mornin…