Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1983 Pulitzer Prize winning play by the legendary playwright, author and director, David Mamet.

Mamet is a prolific playwright with his own signature brand of writing, with fast paced edgy, street lingo dialogue which has been branded ‘Mamet Speak’ in the theatrical circles. The script is deliciously laced with profanity, depicting the cut-throat 1980’s corporate America, akin to the greedy world of Wall Street with the fast-talking, street smart sales pitches.

The play showcases a company of real estate agents driven by greed and ambition and who will do anything to seal a deal or to sell that plot of land. They will not hesitate to use any methods to earn that commission, be it bribery, theft, lies and underhanded dodgy deals.

The pace of the script is fast, really fast, almost to the extent that if you are not already familiar with the plot of the play (or have not watched the 1992 version of the film showcasing the stellar cast of Kevin Spacey, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris amongst others), you will struggle to keep up. Yet, Director Louise Fischer’s version had a slow start, the pace felt stagnant and the urgency that the script demanded was somewhat lacking. The pace and frenzy picked up in the second half with the characters revealing themselves more vividly.

Set Designer, Tom Bannerman’s production design with the multi-level stage added interest to the small space and was effectively done. The lighting design by Michael Schell was clever, complimenting the two distinct locations of the play and matching the shift of pace in the two halves.

The original play by Mamet had an all-male cast, which the 1980’s would have demanded, real estate primarily being the male domain, however, adapting a few characters to female lent a refreshing authenticity, bringing the play into 2021.

The stand-out performance came from Caroline Levien, portraying Williamson as beautifully tender and charming. Oliver Burton (Roma) had the best written part in the play, which he could’ve used to his advantage.

New Theatre continue to bring interesting popular writing to stage and we look forward to more from them.

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS Directed by Louise Fischer
Lighting Designer Michael Schell
Costume Designer Claudia Lafoy
Sound Designer Glenn Braithwaite
Play by David Mamet Photo © Chris Lundie

GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS at New Theatre | 16 MAR – 10 APR | Bookings

by Arwen

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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