Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A Street Car Named Desire

Gillian Anderson as Blanche DuBois
Kelvin and I were only a few scenes into the HD Live performance of  Tennesse Williams' "A Street Car Named Desire", broadcast from London, when we both knew we were out of our depth.

Neither of us have read the play, or seen it.

I probably thought I was going to see "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" though I don't know how I could have  mistaken.  Well, I do know.  I just didn't so my homework and look at the synopsis for the plot, at the very least.

I had  read the review in The Guardian and had seen a u-tube clip of the actual play -- the scene where the audience can see three events going on simultaneously:  men playing cards; Blanche getting acquainted with a possible lover; Stella, in the bathroom, brushing her teeth.

Kelvin's comment at the end of the play was about the multi-taking that it required, since the play was done theatre-in-the-round.  At any time, you could see through the set to the audience on the other side.  The set was angular and spare.  It would turn as the acting was going on, so the audience could see the action from different points of view. The interlude film at the intermission explained that having the audience in the round keeps all of us aware, all of the time, that we are collectively watching this play.  That is a lot of work to add onto three things happening on the stage ... and going to the play unprepared.

Now that was the worst for me.  Not knowing how the play would end.  And when it did Kelvin wanted to know which play I had liked best:  Medea or A Street Car Named Desire.  I know there is a good essay to be written there, but not at this time of night.

Sufficient to say here -- stunning.  The images will be with me for a long time.


1 comment:

  1. If you watched more TCM, you would have seem "A Streetcar named Desire" with Paul Newman.