AS A MAN GROWS YOUNGER
by Howard Colyer
The Brockley Jack Studio Theatre, 410 Brockley Road, London SE4 2JH to 23 February 2019.
Runs 60 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 033 666 3366
Review: William Russell 21 February.
English lessons with James Joyce
In this interesting play for one voice the Italian writer Italo Svevo, impressively conjured by David Bromley, talks about life in Trieste in the 1920s under Mussolini. It is a world where one conforms, takes care what one says and does because the regime tolerates no dissenting voice. Not that things had changed much as life when Trieste was part of the Austro Hungarian empire the regime was authoritarian to say the least. Colyer has invented an event to allow Svevo to look back at his life while agonising about the present. He is waiting to see how his play As A Man Grows Younger will be received, although in reality it was never performed during his lifetime. A businessman who also wrote he acquired success with his novel The Confessions of Zeno which proved hugely successful in France and led to his being called the Italian Proust. In writing it – he had realised he needed to learn better English – he was inspired by his tutor, the Irish dramatist James Joyce who then unkown was living in Trieste. It has been handsomely staged and director Kate Bannister has created with the use of sound and light the feeling of a man trapped in his study wondering whether the violence in the world outside is going to erupt into his home. Monolgues are tricky to do, but David Bromley copes well with the hazards of bringing to life someone the audience is unlikely to know anything about as well as about a time and place just as unfamiliar.
Italo Svevo: David Bromley.
Director: Kate Bannister.
Designer: Karl Swinyard.
Lighting Designer: William Ingham.
Sound Designer: Philip Matejtschuk.
Production Photography: Tim Stubbs Hughes.