Sunday, February 04, 2007

Salvage stuff

Salvage Review from Leonard Link:
"Anyway, I enjoyed it, but not as much as Part II - Shipwreck. To this extent I agree with the Times piece - this is not, on the whole, a deeply theatrical play in the sense of lots of plot and action, apart from the second act of Shipwreck. It is, mainly, talk, provided with an extraordinary collection of settings and well-clothed actors in 19th century garb. If you find the talk diverting, thought-provoking, entertaining, then you'll like it. If you want more in the way of action and character development, you'll probably find it boring.

Part III focuses on the declining years of Alexander Herzen and his shrinking intellectual circle. It takes place in England, where he lives in exile because his agitation against serfdom and the worst abuses of the state in Russia would subject him to arrest and punishment were he to return home. His wife died in Part II, so he is left to raise the kids with a housekeeper (played by the actress who played his wife in the previous play, Jennifer Ehle - although there is clearly nothing sexual between them in this play). The old man is randy and manages to concieve children with his best friend's wife. My sympathies are all with the best friend, Nicholas Ogarev, whose alcoholism and frightening fits have apparently rendered him sterile - actor Josh Hamilton steals every scene he is in, as far as I am concerned. But the central figure this time around is Herzen, and Brian F. O'Byrne's work throughout the cycle has been stellar, although one does tire at times of his didactic lectures, which are of course the fault of Stoppard (and perhaps the real Herzen) - O'Byrne does very well with what he's given, and whoever does his make-up achieves an extraordinary aging effect through the play."

Not very nice from Doug Marino.

Not that positive stuff on All That Chat either.

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