Posted 09 May 2013 - 10:24 PM
Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:34 AM
But that's by the bye now. Mr Letts' treatment of Passion Play is fine. It's his treatment of Scholey that's troubling. Characters' attractiveness can be important in plays - Uncle Vanya needs a more attractive Yelena than Sasha, and here the character ought to be attractive for her siren-esque allure to work - but I think how an attractive actor/actress plays the part is more important than what their curves are like in complementing a production. PHWOAR stars? I bet Mr Letts was chuffed when he thought of that one. His closing line - "Miss Scholey may provoke reactions from a lower part of the anatomy" - seems, to say the least, a reductionist approach to Nichols' writing, Leveaux's direction, the cast's performances and Ms Scholey's performance which includes things such as learning lines, reciting lines, imbuing personality to a fictitious person and interacting with others doing the same thing. I think the reason I find it troubling is I said it on an internet message board with tongue firmly in cheek and knowing that no-one was going to read what I said as an authority. Mr Letts...
Well, a theatre critic's job is surely to say more than "And she was attractive and when she dropped her clothes OH MAMA!" In dealing with a character of more depth that would be completely silly - imagine saying "Meryl Streep was fine as Thatcher but in that scene with a low cut top blimey Charlie!" - and it seems a tad offensive to Ms Scholey the actress to say the best thing about her was Ms Scholey the possessor of attractive anatomy. The reason it’s bad is really that from Mr Letts I have no idea whether Ms Scholey’s a good actress or not, just that she’s attractive, and I want more in an artistic critique.
To return to the Vanya comparison I made earlier, last year Yelena was played by Laura Pulver, who proved in Sherlock how she could turn heads, who struck me as a woman liable to crack under her justified sadness, and by Anna Friel, who is attractive but seemed more stilted (an opinion on which others differed, I know). Yelena's very difficult because she can seem (well, she is) self-pitying and when her problem is "I'm too attractive, three men have fallen for me and I married the old one" whilst Sonya's is "I'm in hopeless love and will work until I die" being sympathetic can be hard, but Pulver made me understand her more where Friel didn't. The reason Scholey is attractive in this is partly the body and partly the disrobing but she also has a smoulder and makes you believe she would instigate this unbelievable affair and brings charisma. Disrobing maketh not the actress, and to base the entire criticism of the performance on whether he gave seated mid-performance standing ovations or not seems crude, reductionist and bad writing.
That was more than a moment. Rant over. I know Letts quoted this board once, so who knows, perhaps I'll be in an article of his.
Posted 12 May 2013 - 06:29 AM
Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:16 PM
Posted 13 May 2013 - 07:18 AM
Thus in keeping with every review Letts ever writes then?
Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:18 AM
The first half wasnt so bad so I stayed but it lost me part way through the second and just didnt hold my attention.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 11:14 AM
Posted 13 May 2013 - 02:07 PM
But all it did for me was distract and annoy. Not, I'm guessing, what Nichols was aiming for.
Posted 13 May 2013 - 03:04 PM
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