Saturday, July 26, 2008

New Review: Ralph Fiennes in Samuel Beckett's "First Love"


Here's a tease:

In the film All About Eve, Bette Davis is seen at the end of the curtain call for a play that her character, Margo Channing, appears in. As the curtain rises one last time, we only see her back. As the applause swells, Margo turns, "discovers" the audience, expresses false modesty, and humbly bows.

For the man whose back is the first image of First Love, a theatrical version of a 1946 short story by Samuel Beckett (staged by Michael Colgan, artistic director of Dublin's Gate Theatre), being discovered by outsiders is the last thing he wants. Nor does he wish to be touched, loved, or acknowledged. Still, under the hazy lights designed by James McConnell, he's in our sights. Reluctantly turning to face us, we plainly see that the man is actor Ralph Fiennes, but then again, it isn't. That shaved head, those sallow cheeks, those eyes as melancholy as a murder victim — this man is infinitely more haunting. In an hourlong monologue that shifts from hostility to reticence to firearm-lethal sarcasm, we learn just how soul-deprived this fellow is.

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1 comment:

ian mackenzie said...

Hi Leonard,

I was trying to send you an email but couldn't find an address on your blog.

How might I contact you?

Thanks!

ianmackenzie [at] praxistheatre [dot] com