Reviews

Only We Shall Retain the Name

Perhaps this production of King Lear was never going to live up to the story: after twenty-three years in Parliament, Glenda Jackson returned to acting with the most challenging Shakespearean role, typically reserved for actors of her caliber as a final achievement, one that spawns nostalgic reflections on a career that began with an historic performance […]

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Reviews

The Norwegian and the Swede

Strindberg insisted on several occasions that his misogyny was entirely theoretical, but The Father is such a full-throated expression of hatred that this is hard to believe. Around the time he wrote the play, he prophesized a coming war of the sexes that would lead to a barbarous matriarchy and declared, “I shall fight as […]

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Reviews

The Scourge of God

What are we to make of Marlowe’s Tamburlaine (John Douglas Thompson), the Scythian shepherd-turned-emperor who spends most of this two-part play committing mass murder without any hint of guilt or self-doubt?  He resembles later theatrical incarnations of political evil, like Shakespeare’s Richard III and Macbeth, but no ghosts of victims come back to haunt him, no authorial […]

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Reviews

On a Dark, Dark Road in a Dark, Dark State

John Grisham’s South is an ethically uncomplicated place.  Racist hicks rape ten-year-old Black girls.  Idealistic lawyers, with rolled up sleeves and toothpicks planted firmly in their mouths, mosey into empty courtrooms—perhaps to spend a private moment with the smell of justice.  And fathers whose daughters have been harmed know the meaning of Ecclesiastes 3:1: “To […]

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