Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Archive - Two-way Mirror - Doncaster Little Theatre

Review written for Doncaster Free Press (February, 2011)

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Arthur Miller was one of the great modern American playwrights and created some of the finest dramas of the last century. Doncaster Little Theatre celebrated his work with Two Way Mirror, a double bill of two of his lesser known one-act plays.

Elegy of a Lady, a short piece set in a boutique sees a man looking to buy a gift for his dying mistress. He quickly finds himself unburdening his secrets onto the young shop owner and their conversation becomes increasingly intimate. There’s plenty of ambiguity; is this simply a conversation between strangers or is there more to this encounter than it seems? The actors do justice to the material, convincing throughout, as we witness two characters sharing a moment of closeness. A minor complaint was that the background music at times almost drowned out the speech, but apart from this, it was an enjoyable half hour of drama.

Some Kind of Love Story, the second, longer play includes nods to film noir as a detective visits a prostitute with an involvement in a long-running case. Frustration and passion rise to the surface in their self-destructive relationship as each tries to find in the other the answers they are seeking. Tension crackled in the theatre and frequent violent outbursts showcased fine acting again, especially from Rea Dolan as Angela, the troubled prostitute with multiple personalities. David Davis also does well as the worn down detective, despite being too young for the role of a man who has been in the force for over 20 years. The play is admittedly a little incoherent at time and is certainly one of Miller’s more confusing works. However the material is handled skilfully by all involved and one could admire the craft, if not always grasp the totality of the piece.

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