Saturday, February 03, 2007

"A Huge Human Spectacle"

As we eagerly await the official opening of Salvage, here's an oldie to tide us over...

New York magazine's December review of Voyage was a tad overdue, but better late than never as the phrase goes!

Jeremy McCarter's opinion is mixed, but as his title So Far, So Good indicates, it contains more praise than negativity.

Despite initially stating that "the incompleteness of the story makes responding to it a bit tricky", he concurrently applauds "the beautiful vastness of the thing", concluding that "this huge human spectacle is its own reward, no matter what comes next".

He also has minor criticisms of the transition from page to stage, noting that "plenty of jokes are clearer in the script than onstage". When remarking on Stoppard's delve into the romantic troubles of the Bakunin girls, he again expresses uncertainty, saying "it's never clear why we ought to care about their heartache, despite the best efforts of Jennifer Ehle and Martha Plimpton to persuade us".

This considered, he seems to reserve largely positive judgment for all the individual actors, most notably Billy Crudup and Ethan Hawke, whom he describes as having "charisma to spare", although he does posit the intriguing, if somewhat strange, idea of them switching roles.

Thankfully, his final summing up has a distinctly positive tone:

Still, it's a testament to what Stoppard is achieving that in spite of the occasional missed joke...if they'd told me I could have stuck around after the final curtain for the start of Part Two, I'd have been delighted to make it an all-night affair.

I look forward to hearing New York's opinion on Shipwreck, which with all due respect I'm guessing we can expect in about April?!

No comments: