THE COUNTRY GIRL: Clifford Odets
A Note from the performance at Birmingham Hippodrome
Alexander Ray 16 September 2010
This is a note, subsequent to an earlier review by Tim Ramsden.Timothy Ramsden reviewed Clifford Odets’ THE COUNTRY GIRL in August; http://www.reviewsgate.com/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=5211. I have just seen it further on its tour, at the Hippodrome in Birmingham.
Staging a play in this large theatre is quite a challenge – yet the theatricality it encourages fits comfortably with the period style of the play. However, this doesn’t mean that our emotional engagement is diminished – we care deeply about the main characters; very much about the actor Frank Elgin (Martin Shaw) and, eventually, drawn to her, very, very much about Georgie Elgin, his wife.
There is something refreshing about the free-flowing emotion, overtly expressed. Unlike Tim, I don’t think it’s hard to take.
Tim rightly homes in on Martin Shaw’s performance; it’s thrilling in its range, yet he makes it look so easy.
And more; there is great joy in exiting a theatre after a big play – and you feel changed. Perhaps this is much missed, in our more cynical age, catharsis.