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Purple Heart (Gate)


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#1 Parsley

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 12:43 PM

Ahead of The Low Road coming up at RC, after Clybourne Park and (for those who saw it) The Pain and The Itch, I would highly recommend this early play by Bruce Norris.

The Gate are selecting a wonderful range of new plays under the new manager there.

This was an excellent and shocking evening.

Typical Norris being challenging and witty and morbid all in quick succession.

Well worth a look I would say, made me laugh out loud and gasp at the same time!

#2 mallardo

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 09:13 AM

Yes, I would second Parsley's comments.  It's a disturbing and funny piece, recognizably the work of the author of Clybourne Park, and the production at the Gate gets it just right.   The four actors are all excellent at conveying the slightly heightened reality of their little world with its overtones of lingering dread.  But a special nod to Trevor White who I did not like in Long Days Journey recently (he was Jamie Tyrone) but who is pitch perfect here as the mysterious stranger, and to Amelia Lowdell as Carla, the grief-blasted army widow, who wonderfully delivers the long deranged first act monologue which is the heart of the play - a role originated, incidentally, by Laurie Metcalf (speaking of Long Day's Journey).  

Very highly recommended.
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#3 Poly

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 12:53 PM

I was less enamored with it. Although certainly interesting, I felt that some things in the production were a bit stodgy and didn't like two of the performances. I have written a more detailed review on my blog
http://theotherbridg...e-gate-theatre/

#4 mallardo

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Posted 03 March 2013 - 01:54 PM

An interesting review, as always, Poly.  I'd make two points.

I queried the use of an "older" actor playing the son and was told that the laws regarding child actors in the UK made it a  problem for a small company like The Gate to cast a real 12 year old.  I actually thought that Oliver Coopersmith did a nice job of portraying a developmentally challenged teenager of indeterminate age - for me it didn't hurt the play.

Re the American accents, speaking as an American, I thought only Linda Broughton was inauthentic and only on some words.
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#5 Poly

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 06:12 PM

View Postmallardo, on 03 March 2013 - 01:54 PM, said:

An interesting review, as always, Poly.  I'd make two points.

I queried the use of an "older" actor playing the son and was told that the laws regarding child actors in the UK made it a  problem for a small company like The Gate to cast a real 12 year old.  I actually thought that Oliver Coopersmith did a nice job of portraying a developmentally challenged teenager of indeterminate age - for me it didn't hurt the play.

Re the American accents, speaking as an American, I thought only Linda Broughton was inauthentic and only on some words.

I completely take the point that you would have adult actors playing children for all sort of reasons and usually that's not a problem: Bryony Hannah was playing a child in The Children's Hour and wasn't Oliver Coopersmith himself playing a child in The Physicists (and then Joshua McGuire is the triple threat: a twenty something playing a ninenteen year old who thinks he is fourteen). But here I found it problematic, possibly because he is not helped by the setting and costume: first scene he comes in wearing casual wear and sunglasses. I found it impossible not to think he is an adult.




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