Miss Woodhouse's Musings

…about life, the universe, and everything. Don't panic!

That Thing’s A Play?

on 5 November 2009

I recently attended a play, which for reasons that shall become more obvious later on shall go unnamed. Allow me to preface my remarks with the disclaimer that nothing I say is meant in any way to be a criticism of the actors involved- I have seen them all in other roles where they have spellbound me for hours on end. This is directly related to the content of the play itself.

The play is told in retrospect, and is heavily autobiographical. Perhaps it has worth, and perhaps there are messages within its layers that I missed. Overall though, I found little to recommend it. There was no meat, no substance. Every line that was meant to be poignant fell flat. Things that could have been expounded upon were treated in the sketchiest of ways, and things that were painfully self-evident were nonetheless harped upon for minutes at a time.

We left at intermission. I don’t think that ever before in my life have I been lured away from a play before its end…especially not tempted by the promise of IHOP like I was that night. I don’t even really like IHOP all that much. Desperation I say.

Later that night I looked up the plot of the last act of the play. Nothing different happened in the act we missed; nothing new was introduced or discussed. All the startling revelations that would have made the second act great were given away in the last speech of the first act. I’m glad I didn’t waste my time- it wasn’t worth it.

What makes writers think that just because their play purports to be “introspective” that they are exempt from the rules of plot and character development? Significant words do not inspiration make. There must be tangible meaning, deep introspection, and a reason to look at humanity in a new light. Those criterions are what make certain plays enduring- for their ability to transcend time, setting, and situation and get to the heart of the human condition. It doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom either. Sometimes the funniest of lines can underscore perfectly the condition of the human soul.

On the other hand, I did get pancakes out of the deal….

2 responses to “That Thing’s A Play?

  1. Mum says:

    Hey….pancakes and a bonding experience over a bad play — that’s a pretty good deal. Just wish we had had someone take our picture!

    Love you too much!

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