David Mamet’s play Boston Marriage is the next challenge for Bench Theatre in Havant (The Spring from November 11-14).
Imagine Downton Abbey set in liberal east-coast America, and scripted by Oscar Wilde, and you have a hint of the sharpness of wit in Bench Theatre’s next production, the company promise.
Director Mark Wakeman describes it as a wisecracking homage to the creator of The Importance of Being Earnest with its sharp dialogue.
“Characters are vile to each other while apparently being exceedingly polite. It’s like Downton on hallucinogenic drugs!”
Mark told actress Robin Hall, who plays one half of the lesbian couple at the heart of the story: “Just watch Dame Maggie Smith’s putdowns in Downton.”
“Lady Violet might have created barbs such as ‘Have you taken a vow of arrogance?’ And ‘This man, does he not know your reputation?’ And ‘Why would he require a mistress if he had no wife?’
“And when one character demands ‘Have you taken up journalism?’ another exclaims (as Downton’s Lady Edith might) retorts ‘What a vile thing to say!’”
Mark added: “Mamet, established as one of America’s finest playwrights, is best-known on both sides of the Atlantic for hits such as Oleanna, Sexual Perversity in Chicago and American Buffalo.
“A Boston marriage is defined as a partnership in which two women live together, independent of male financial support – as Anna and Claire have done for many years in Mamet’s play. But when one accepts the gift of an emerald necklace from a married admirer and the other announces she has fallen in love with someone else, a battle of wits begins.
The necklace brings with it a host of problems and the path to love and happiness lies through a minefield of farce.
“Bench Theatre’s cast is completed by Jessi Wilson as a maid who is repeatedly and determinedly ignored by both the other women as she merely tries to claim her wages.
This play is not in any of our comfort zones, so it’s a good challenge – which is what we like.”
Boston Marriage will be performed at the Spring Arts Centre, East Street, Havant, from Wednesday to Saturday, November 11-14, at 7.30pm, with a Saturday matinee at 2.30pm.
Tickets are available on (023) 9247 2700, from thespring.co.uk or in person at the arts centre. They cost £9.50 (concessions £7.50) for evening performances or £8.50 (concessions £6.50) for matinees. On the Wednesday, two tickets are available for the price of one.
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