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Strange Interlude

July 9, 2013

Eugene O’Neill‘s play STRANGE INTERLUDE at the National is unusual as the characters constantly address the audience letting us into their inner thoughts. I have experienced this in Shakespeare and Restoration comedy but never in something so contemporary that I can remember. It does take some getting used to at first but it creates a whole other level of insight into the characters motivations. Very interesting technique.

I am not sure if it is to do with which plays travel well to the UK from the US but they always seem so epic in scope, often covering whole lives and even generations more like a novel than a play. This play is epic in scope and it takes three and a half hours to tell the tale. Three and a half gripping hours of compelling drama.

The performances are all top notch led by the excellent Charles Edwards and a very quirky and interesting performance by Jason Watkins. However it is Anne-Marie Duff who is the central character of this story and she is amazing, taking us on the journey from the damaged young girl through her trials and tribulations of adulthood into her later reflective years. I really felt like I had seen a lifetime before me on stage in one play. Remarkable.

I also like the design for this story which gives us context through the set. In the design there is developing story from the very enclosed study in the family home to the eventual freedom on a beach – much like life itself.

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From → Theatre

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