Saturday, May 13, 2006
The Voysey Inheritance
This play is playing at the Royal National Theatre,London. It had been revived recently or rediscovered. It is about a family and the effect upon them of fraud. The purpose of this blog is to get you to read Paul Miller's analysis of the director's vision compared to that of another play he saw in the same week. Both directors are called Peter. Over to Paul: ... it's the contrast in directorial approach which fascinates. Peter G makes it his task to tune in with perfect pitch to the tone and intent of the writing in all its scope and details; Peter S takes the play as a jumping off point to make an event which describes to the audience what they should feel about what they are watching. Gill understands how theatrical authentically lived actions are on stage; Stein emphasises the artificial in the setting to create a sense of strangeness which is separate to the play's incidents. Gill's actors uncannily catch and embody the nuances of class, power and gender positions as they ripple through the play; Stein's actors, though gifted, are crudely cast and thus have to put on odd accents to imitate the social background indicated in the play. In Voysey the appearance of the domestic staff to clear the grand dining table is poetic and real, casting a perspective on the upper-middle class family they serve and being in itself a perfect miniature piece of textured physical theatre; in Blackbird various people ostensibly working in the factory peer and leer through the window at the back every few moments, conveying nothing true about factory life and shattering what drama there is on stage with bathos....... If you can think like that and write like that ......... the IBTA examiner will adore you. Connections, dynamics, bathos.