OLEANNA: David Mamet
Theatre Tours International: Guy Masterson Productions.
Runs: 80m: no interval: till 7 Dec 2002
Tour details: www.theatretroursinternational.com
Review: Ranjit Khutan: Wolverhampton, Arena: 8th October 2002
A brilliantly performed piece which allows concepts in the dialogue to take centre stage.
Simple in its structure the set consists of two chairs yet the actors enable us to picture the scene very clearly in our own minds. This also does not distract us from Mamet’s dialogue, which is complex and captivating.
Although written over a decade ago (where Mamet originally based the play on the American University system) Guy Masterson gives a sensitive and confident performance of John that enables us to see how lecturers in modern universities still have difficulties and challenges with regard to political correctness and the litigation culture.
Beth Fitzgerald’s intelligently conceived student is annoying and confused with an underlying sense of control and planning/scheming that presents itself later in a bitter-sweet fashion. The conflict between the characters is played out with conviction and we are led to try and understand differing viewpoints as the emotional and moral ball bounces to and fro.
Our anxiety to attempt to understand these characters is all the more heightened as we are continually interrupted by the telephone.
Carol (student): Beth Fitzgerald
John (lecturer): Guy Masterson
Director: Emma Lucia
Fight Direction: Terry King