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27 November 2014
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May 2005
Speed The Plow
Film
Film


Speed The Plow

The Burton Taylor Theatre

Tuesday 24th - Saturday 28th May 2005

7:30 pm

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By Tim Bearder

Three actors, no interval and a monochrome set bathed in stark lighting. We're in for an intense piece of student drama - hold on tight!

The first scene begins at such a pace all it lacks is the sound of the starter's pistol. Two American film executives thunder into a round of self congratulatory butt-kissing as they straddle the biggest coup of their career.

Initially it's hard to keep pace but quickly you settle aboard the speeding train of continuous dialogue and over-egged prostrating. David Mamet's script lines crisscross over each other with the brazen abandon of a real life conversation.

While the actors Heman Ojha and Jamie Rann master their own parts with absolute finesse the meshing is occasionally pre-empted and at those moments we get two people in their own heads rather than the same room.

Celia Weinstock adds a fine third element to the piece and a welcome relief from the relentless pounding gush of the first half. She plays the secretary who sleeps with one of the executives to make him throw out the blockbuster in favour of a thinking person's film.

This is where I take objection to the actual substance of the piece. It appears to be saying that the only way to get a good film made over a blockbuster is to use unethical means but concludes with the better film being made and the thinking person's film being exposed as a bit of a lame duck - so where's the moral? Don't trust your secretary?

I found the play overly intense with an ultimately unsatisfactory conclusion but that's criticism of the script rather than the exceptional standard of the production team.

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