Archiv der Kategorie: Wyndham’s Theatre

An Ordinary Man

Kenneth Lonergan: The Starry Messenger, Wyndham’s Theatre, London (Director: Sam Yates)

By Sascha Krieger

The Starry Messenger, first performed on Broadway in 2009, is a labour of love. In it Kenneth Lonergan, since awarded with an Oscar for Manchester by the Sea, remembers a teacher he encountered as a teenage by at the now long demolished Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Together with his childhood friend Matthew Broderick, Lonergan felt inspired by this quiet, serious man and started imagining his life story. Completed, it was Broderick himself, who brought the anonymous teacher to life and does so again in this year’s revival. This Mark in an introverted man, full of inferiority complex, of feeling inadequate, and in love with science. A husband and father, loving, yet not very good at showing emotions. Facing a (final?) career chance, an unlikely romantic encounter and hostile final class at the soon to be disappearing planetarium, he feels the pangs of middle age, the disappearance of opportunities, the running out of option.

Image: Sascha Krieger

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The Fog of Love

Eugene O’Neill: A Long Day’s Journey into Night, Bristol Old Vic / Wyndham,’s Theatre, London (Director: Richard Eyre)

By Sascha Krieger

What is it about America that makes its greatest playwrights so obsessed with (their own) family? Arthur Miller’s most famous play is a family drama (Death of a Salesman), Tennessee Williams wrote about nothing else and both he (The Glass Menagerie) an Eugene O’Neill converted their own family history into plays. All these families are deeply troubled, doomed, disintegrating and falling apart by the end. It seems that the family, that almost religious myth of America, that source of its greatness is not just a positive symbol but a negative one, too, signifying everything that is flawed in society. If the seed is rotten how can the flower thrive? There is plenty about A Long Day’s Journey into Night that could inspire a contemporary interpretation at a time when the American dream and the American family are again weaponised while at the same time families regarded as non-American are ripped apart. In his new production, director Richard Eyre does non of this. He looks deeper – as O’Neill did – and aims at the universal. His take is indeed a long, a very long journey into the night, into oblivion, and just a hint that something may continue, that the sun might rise again. Or perhaps it won’t.

Image: Sascha Krieger

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