Collected Stories - One4Review
one4review | On 14, Aug 2013
This production of Donald Margulies play fully absorbs as it builds from a simple beginning to a tense and dramatic conclusion. It is a thought-provoking piece of theatre, exploring the themes of friendship, ambition and betrayal. Actresses Natalie Sutherland as Lisa, whom we first see as a young student, and April Lang as Ruth an English Professor and famous novelist give beautifully constructed performances.
The action is set in Ruth’s apartment in New York over a six year period in the 1990’s. In the opening scene, Lisa arrives for her first tutorial with Ruth. Lisa has a lively, determined personality and is excited at her meeting on a one to one basis with her literary idol. Ruth is controlled, seeing a spark of real talent in Lisa’s essay. Their friendship develops over the next year as they form a close teacher/pupil relationship.
However, cracks begin to appear as Lisa begins to find some success in her own right as a writer and now she is beginning to find more independence as a person not relying exclusively on Ruth for mentoring. Move forward several years and their personalities have changed, particularly Lisa’s. She has become a critically acclaimed writer, whilst Ruth is now showing signs of advancing years. However, Lisa’s first novel is based on a revelation that Ruth had made in the early period of their friendship of a relationship she had had as a young woman in the 1950’s.
The final scene brings to a head the now unbridgeable gulf between them, but who has betrayed who? It is not quite as straightforward as it might seem.
Reviewed by Ben
New Town Theatre; 7
1 to 25 August 2011 (not 5, 12, 19)
15.15 – 17.05
Fringe Programme Page Number: 271