Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Edmond

Last night I went to London to see Edmond by David Mamet at the National, with Kenneth Branagh.





The play was a short and simple one, with a series of one-on-one scenes between Ken and a series of one-off characters on an almost-bare stage. The trajectory was very familiar - man descends into hell of his own making, and at the depths of despair finds redemption after a fashion. I was reminded that the origins of drama are in religious ritual. It was quite violent too.

Ken was on stage the whole time. As you might expect he gave a very charismatic perfomance, which sucked you into a feeling of intimacy with the character. He stripped off all his clothes, which was not sexy, but added to the feeling of intimacy. It was like seeing your boyfriend (or girlfriend) naked, rather than some sort of icon.

This is a very trivial thing to say, but I hate theatre audiences. I hate the way they titter with embarrassment whenever there is a moment of any emotional danger (most crassly when Ken kissed a man, much bigger and fiercer looking than himself, and who had previously raped him in a scene alluded to but not shown). This may be a feature of British theatre audiences only. I hate the way (some of them) bray with knowing laughter to indicate that they 'get' the intellectual allusions. It's enough to send you on a killing rampage of your own.

And - most absurdly - as I was leaving two posh women were talking right behind me.

'It was racist, sexist, homophobic - dreadful!'

I felt like saying 'You are a couple of over-educated idiots.' David Mamet can be all of those things, but this play was not. What is wrong with these people?
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