November 2nd, 2015

bah

Apropos The Dresser

Lovely play, exemplary cast, wonderful to see Sir Anthony Hopkins doing something not just for the money,  but...

Damn the 19th century theatre with its elaborate fixed sets. Damn how static it is. Damn all that furniture and those make-believe four walls. Damn the necessity of character A having to tell character B about the things character C has been doing in the Town Hall Square because there's no way the action can move beyond the bloody fixed set.  If this were Shakespeare or Brecht or a movie we'd have been able to see character C doing his public striptease and jumping on his hat and that would have been much more fun than having it described to us- no matter how waggishly.

Oh, but hang on a minute. This isn't 19th century theatre. This is a play first produced in 1980. So why, in 1980- after all that has happened in between- is Ronald Harwood still writing as if bound by the restrictions that Ibsen and Chekhov had to wrestle with? And why- given that this is a TV adaption- can't we open things up a bit?