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Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Hothouse


Just got back from the Pinter Play, the Hothouse, by the Lantern Theatre Company. It was very good to see some of our favorite actors again, Peter Nolan, Peter Pryor, and Luigi Sottile. As always, they give good show, though Lush could have been a bit sleazier, he certainly was menacing. Peter Nolan was extraordinary and I haven't seen him since Richard III. At one point when he was frozen (staging) he was staring at us for 10 minutes straight, it was unnerving because I never caught him blinking. It was hard at that point to focus on the action between Kristyn Chouinere and Mike Dees, but I gave it my best shot. Note to director Kathryn MacMillian, make him stare at the floor, or warn the audience on stage right. There was an actor making his debut this season, Mike Dees, he gave an engaging performance, "Certainly not un-engaging," I am sure we will see him again. Peter Pryor is always impressive, his facial expressions tell the whole story. This was the second time, I believe, that I saw Kristyn Chouiniere, her movements are so deliberate and natural at the same time. You simply can't look away when she is present. As far as interacting with the audience, there was none as there always is in the Shakespeare performances. I was expecting some interaction based on reviews, but the staring was perhaps enough. The scenery was a departure from the stripped down sets I am accustomed to at this theatre company, the different seating arraignment was invigorating and it was a great use of theatre space. During intermission, I was set upon in the restroom by a theatergoer unfamiliar with Pinter. She was demanding answers about what the play was about. I don't think I gave her satisfaction, after all I don't look through her lens. I simply answered, "Who's Crazy? Unfortunately, the absurdity of the "Rest Home" reminded me of my last position of employment. Pinter does understand the psyche of "institutions."

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