Review – Glengarry Glen Ross – The Apollo (London)

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Tonight J, W, Alex and I caught Glengarry Glen Ross at The Apollo. This is a modern American classic, a parallel with Death of a Salesman (I think, though not in that total A+ class, more of an A-). I’ve wanted to see it ever since J and I read it in the one class we took together in college (I took it so I could hang out with him, aren’t I nauseating?), and … well, at the time, I just couldn’t understand how the dialogue fit together, and I’ve wanted to see it on stage ever since.

I’ve found the script online so you can see what I mean, but basically people are interrupting each other left and right and sometimes they talk as if they expect someone to interrupt them, but they don’t, and … well, as I thought, it made a lot more sense with actual people doing it.

While some things didn’t translate so well (Lordie, the rant about “Indian” people, that was really icky to hear spoken to a London audience), the energy and desperation carried through pretty well, I think, and unlike a few other shows I’ve seen (Boeing Boeing, Awake and Sing), the actors really seemed at home in their American accents.

(This review was for a performance on November 6th, 2007.)
But WOW, I just have to quote the most SCATHING dressdown I’ve ever seen someone get on stage so you can appreciate it.

Scene: a real estate office, mid-eighties. Character one has just had a business deal ruined by character two, Williamson.

You stupid fucking cunt. You,
Williamson…I’m talking to you, shithead…You just cost me six thousand dollars.
(pause)
Six thousand dollars. And one Cadillac. That’s right. What are you going to do about it? What are
you goin to do about it, asshole.
You fucking shit. Where did you
learn your trade. You stupid
fucking cunt. You idiot. Whoever
told you you could work with men?

I’m going to have your job, shithead.
I’m going downtown and talk to
Mitch and Murrray, and I’m going to
Lemkin. I don’t care whose nephew
you are, who you know, whose dick
you’re sucking on. You’re going
out, I swear to you, you’re going…

Anyone in this office lives on
their wits…

What you’re hired for is to help
us–does that seem clear to you?

To help us. Not to fuck us up…to
help men who are going out there to
try to earn a living. You fairy.
You company man…I’ll tell you
something else. I hope you knocked
the joint off, I can tell our
friend here something might help
him catch you.
(starts into the room)
You want to learn the first rule
you’d know if you ever spent a day
in your life…you never open your
mouth till you know what the shot
is.
(pause)
You fucking child…

Wow! The audience was so NERVOUS after that scene was done! It was great.

Uh … we all went for dinner before hand at the Thai food place that was written up in the paper for having a chile cooking incident get reported as a chemical spill. Thai Cottage, Soho, YUM. Pre-theater special, 5.50 for curry AND rice (or noodles). My chicken red curry, FABULOUS. You know it’s going to be good when grandma’s in the dining room peeling the garlic.

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