David Mamet’s award-winning play comes to Milton Keynes Theatre and I go along to see if it’s a hard sell or a done deal…
Hope everyone has had a lovely start to the week and adjusting well to the clocks springing forward. By the looks of the photo I snapped as I arrived at MK Theatre yesterday (7pm) summertime is seriously on the way! Look how bright it still is!
I was at MK Theatre yesterday for the opening night of Glengarry Glen Ross which is in town this week.
I was going into this play mostly blind. I have never seen it before, nor have I seen the film adaption of the same name with its rather shockingly good cast list (How have I not heard of it before?!).
I heard from friends about the film, about the writer David Mamet and was told to expect “slick words, brutal moments and to witness the destructiveness of capitalism and masochism”. Sounds gnarly, right?
A story about sales. Selling. When selling is measured, celebrated and punished in the workplace and life. What it means to sell, how it makes you feel. And moreover; what it pushes you to do. The dishonesty, the lack of morals and the scrupulous personalities that can make most people either cautious or ready to mock anyone who is ready to admit how they earn their families survival money.
And while the theatre was not stuffed full, as the curtains rose, the atmosphere circled tentatively, expecting.
The first half was over in 35 minutes when we broke for an interval. That was over FAST.
Broken into a few scenes of one on one discussions between the cast.
The script is slick. My friend wasn’t wrong. The writing and words are brilliant.
I’m not sure they hit the audience in the gut as much as I think the writer would’ve intended. It is rather gritty subject matter after all but I couldn’t find fault or reasoning for thinking so. I wanted to be put off my ice cream (above) but happily ate away.
American accents from all British actors were believable and their line delivery and timing was smooth and clearly well put together. How someone can master another accent and maintain it for more than a few words is beyond me. These guys were doing it for nearly two hours (in total running time).
The sets were unbelievably detailed and immersive (below). They really were brilliant. If you go along to see it, take a moment to look around the set and see what they built.
But even with that great set, I still didn’t feel like I witnessed something intense.
Now that I am home and thinking about the words spoken, what they meant, to the cast and to the audience as they listened in, something isn’t complete.
I am itching to see the big Hollywood names do it close-up on camera. Films do have that advantage, my friend says, of pulling you right in. You’re close. And I think that’s what I needed last night.
Have you seen the film? Or the play before?
Let me know your thoughts on it!
Glengarry Glen Ross is at Milton Keynes Theatre 01-06 April 2019
For full transparency, tickets for Glengarry Glen Ross were gifted to me from MK Theatre. They have not asked me to post this or told me what to post.