THE LAST YANKEE
by Arthur Miller.
The Print Room 34 Hereford Street W2 5AJ To 5 October 2013.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm Mat Sat 3.30pm.
Runs 1hr 15min.
TICKETS: 020 7221 6036.
Review: Francis Grin 12 September.
Another Success at The Print Room.
In Arthur Miller’s The Last Yankee two men meet in the waiting room of a mental hospital. Their wives are both patients, and it isn’t long before the men start wondering what’s really brought them there.
On some levels, it’s a story about marriage and survival – but in a greater sense, it’s a story about a ‘cultural depression’, as we soon realize that these healthy men are in fact as (if not more) severely depressed as their wives. Delving deeper into the story, the same lines and thoughts re-occur, with each characters feeling pressured by the need to achieve in a global culture that continues to measure happiness through career success.
The play may be written in 1993, but in an age that continues to advertise the importance of "making it", this story feels more relevant than ever.
Cathal Cleary directs a production that’s drenched with realism. Everything from Jamie Vartan’s design to the direction and stellar cast work to create a real "slice of life" on stage, fully immersing the audience into this world. Vartan has considered the smallest details, and even as the audience peak through a window of the mental hospital, we continue to see an extension of this world.
The cast here is equally impressive and fully embodies the psychological complexities of these characters. Most intriguing is Andy de la Tour’s portrayal of Frick, a man who initially comes across as a warm and well-meaning individual. Slowly, De La Tour unravels the quirks and darker inner layers of Frick’s character, revealing a man who, underneath the friendly façade, is actually disturbingly troubled.
The Print Room is a venue which continuously refuses to compromise on quality. The Last Yankee is no exception; I was yet again blown away by a flawless production in Hereford Street.
Frick: Andy de la Tour.
Leroy: Paul Hickey.
Patricia: Matilda Ziegler.
Karen: Kika Markham.
Patient: Tracey-Ann Wood
Director: Cathal Cleary.
Designer: Jamie Vartan.
Lighting: Charles Balfour.
Sound: George Dennis.