Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Edna O'Brien's "Haunted"

Watched this Brits off Broadway offering with TH at 59E59 Theater last Thursday. Strong acting by Brenda Blethyn and Niall Buggy as possessive, domineering wife, and straying husband. Beth Cooke as Hazel, an elocution teacher, was good too; her lack of beauty and personality made clear how much of Mr Berry's desire was generated from within. I am not sure however what the play, directed by Braham Murray, was going for, besides a gritty picture of marital unhappiness. The picture was a relatively familiar one. The dialogue was laden with literary references. O'Brien rewrote the play from a TV drama she had written decades ago, when she met Blethyn. So the play was, at least in part, a star vehicle, though a playwright would hate to have her work called this. If the vehicle went somewhere, it would have seemed less so.

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