Long Day's Journey Into Night
Posted 28 April 2012 - 10:01 PM
I think that the director Anthony Page did well here - no sagging.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:23 PM
First some background - I was fortunate enough to see the Lyric 2000 production of this play with Jessica Lange and Charles Dance. It was, and still is, the pinnacle of my theatre going history. It was stunningly brilliant and I was left almost speechless by the whole thing. I could go on and on and on about how Lange played that role, with such precise passive aggressive menace. The whole cast imparted so many layers of interest and thought with the text - it was amazing.
But this Apollo version is just so... straightforward. It's just presented straight at you- no ambiguities, no shade or layers. It just was so much less. I was particularly disappointed with Metcalf - who seemed to think that simply running all her lines together quite quickly would suffice. Suchet tries - he really does, but he doesn't quite get there either. There is no malice in his James Tyrone, there is no real SENSE of why someone would have gone totally bonkers living with him. Oh sure- the play tells you but you don't feel it. Comparing that to the general sense of blackness that Dance imparted was like comparing a kitten to a lion. I particularly didn't think he handled the scenes which required a split-second mood change very well. I probably was most impressed with Trevor White as Jamie. It was also flawed but you could at least feel something from his portrayal - particularly in the last act when he is warning Edmund about his own desire to see him ruined.
The Lyric production also somehow imparted so much more ambiguity for much longer about the nature of Mary's problem. I have no idea how they did that now - I can't imagine they changed the text, but it was so much more effective. I suppose it was great actors and great direction - knowing when not to broadcast a line like it's surrounded in beacons. That's what I feel this Apollo production did with Mary's addiction - they might as well have had a neon sign over her head blinking 'MORPHINE ADDICT'. There just was hardly any subtlety anywhere.
Poor set design didn't help either. No imagination there at all. It was just a room - it didn't lend itself to anything.
Despite it being such a disappointment relatively, I can't say I was ever bored watching. The actors are, at least, very watchable. I've certainly been to three hour plays where they felt like five and while the time didn't fly with this play, it didn't really drag either. I was seated quite close though, which I think makes a difference to such matters. The audience seemed appreciative- but not ga-ga about it. So... solid and straightforward, but not brilliant.
Posted 01 May 2012 - 03:55 PM
The last few moments when Metcalf speaks in fact more normally than she has done throughout and is speaking the truth is so affecting precisely becausue she has spoken in an uneven clipped way before. I thougth it was brilliantly done.
Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:55 PM
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.
Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:33 AM
Posted 21 May 2012 - 11:10 AM
Anyone able to suggest roughly what a good time is to rock up at the theatre to get day tickets during the week? Are they available at every performance, incidentally?
Posted 15 June 2012 - 01:48 PM
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