Friday, 7 November 2014

'Speed-the-Plow' Playhouse Theatre **

One sometimes becomes flabbergasted by the West End’s casting of non-dramatically trained actors who do not comprehend the intensity of the process, and the revival David Mamet's 1988 play, ‘Speed-the-Plow’ most definitely depicts this with the tragic casting of Hollywood brat, Lindsay Lohan. ‘Speed-the-Plow’ is set within the office of Head of Production, Bobby Gould, who is frustratingly on the lookout for his latest blockbuster, and his long-time collaborator, Charlie Fox enters to explain that illustrious actor, Doug Brown has asked for a meeting with the two of them, in the hope that they can produce this film. Contrariwise, it appears that Brown has been sharing his ideas with a neighbouring studio complex, and has set Bobby and Charlie a deadline to consent on the deal by 10 o'clock the following morning. However, Bobby’s temporary secretary, Karen arrives with the coffee, and the two of them, along with Karen discus the history of the movie industry, which ignites her appetite for literature. Sadistically, Bobby probes Karen to read a novel, claiming that it's a “courtesy read”, and during an evening at Bobby’s apartment, Karen presents a radiant evaluation of the book. We then see Bobby’s sickening way of seducing his employees, and suggest that if Karen has sexual intercourse with him, that he would decline his involvement with the Brown script, in favour of the radiation concept that Karen has comprehensively evaluated. Outrageously, Karen learns that Bobby has been dishonest with the work she has undertaken, and her work inevitably was worth nothing, as well as, Karen is not as innocent either due to the affair she had with boss the previous night. Fundamentally, after a vicious bloodbath between Bobby and Charlie, they smarten themselves up and meet with Brown to seal the contract. Mamet’s narrative is exceptionally tedious and uneventful, as the notion of a play conveys the debauchery of the movie business is far too boring.  In addition to this, the dialogue really lacks imagination and cohesiveness. One thought that the performances by the company of ‘Speed-the-Plow’ were offensively shocking, due to a lack of creativity from its questionable Casting Director by Maggie Lunn. Lindsay Lohan is heinous as the temporary secretary, Karen; especially her voice that sounded too breathy, and her emotional capability appears incredibly melodramatic and uninspiring throughout. Richard Schiff is pedestrian as the repellent, Bobby; in particular the scene when they character is attempting to flatter Karen, and the fight element was vastly terrible, and falsely un-naturalistic. Nigel Lindsay is substandard is Bobby’s associate, Charlie; specifically his American accent was seriously disappointing and unrealised, and again the fight aspects were horrendously awful and underwhelming. Lindsay Posner’s direction is lacklustre here as one found the subject of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the process to be disengaging, and poorly apprehended. Moreover, his direction was probably the foulest in his incredible career as an outstand director. Robert Innes Hopkins’ designs are immensely woeful as one could see that the attention to detail looked too glitzy, even for me. This was likely as a way to decrease the focus of a performance that demeans the wonderful industry that is theatre. Overall, the experience of ‘Speed-the-Plow’ was an unbearable one, so don't go to the Playhouse Theatre currently.

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