Sunday, 22 May 2011

A CRITICISM OF MY PLAY AS I LIKE IT by Tom Reed.


I loved your play you wrote with Lyall.  It's funny, profound, and profoundly moving.  And oddly, also felt like an aggregate of all the telephone conversations we've had since I met you, but organized and presented in such a way to maximize wit, cleverness, joie de vivre and a unique sort of detached sorrow -- all words I would use to describe you as a person.  The play perfectly captures you.  By the way, page 21 is a comedic tour de force.  I hope your lead actress nails that.  If she does, you will hear howls of sustained laughter coming from the audience.  

My favorite lines:  

Page 15:  "I learnt that plays that were moving and real were called comedies."  That line applies to your own work, my dear, so it's very apt that you included it.  

Page 24:  "There's always room for a bob in Coward, so I'd be okay."  This is a terrific laugh line. 

Page 27:  "So you see, I'm not ready to settle down."  An even bigger laugh line.  I hope your actor pauses to take a drink right after she says it.

Page 34:  "I think now, I'm addicted to the passion of being disappointed."  This is where the play begins its inexorable march away from laughs and towards its searing profundity.

And my favorite line, and the very best line, and the most moving, and profound, and sorrowful, yet also oddly hopeful line, is the very last:   "I'll look for someone who has the same hands as his... and who fits mine..."

Amanda and Lyall, it's every playwright's dream to write a play where the very last line is the most powerful of the entire play.  It is an ideal rarely achieved.  Yet you have achieved it here, unequivocally.  And for that you deserve great praise as a writer and an artist.  This line is going to have an enormous impact on the audience.  It's going to leave them stunned, and moved in a way they couldn't possibly have anticipated by any one thing that preceded it, and yet, is the perfect endpoint of the play's inevitable crescendo of self-illumination.  People are going to come out of the play thinking they've seen something of a minor masterpiece.  

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