Jun 12, 2009

A Glance Back

Not sure exactly why, but the Voice this week has plucked a review from its archives: Michael Smith's 1967 take on the Broadway arrival of The Homecoming. It's more or less a rave, but with qualifications. The turn comes about halfway in:
It is a stunning play, and yet halfway through the second act it lost me, I stopped caring. I found myself numb to surprise or shock, tired of it, dulled. Apparently Pinter’s technique is self-limiting. Once you realize that anything can happen, you’re immunized against it when it does. If anything can happen, everything is the same—and sameness is death to drama. Still I wouldn’t have missed it.

I'm not sure I agree--with his point about surprise, I do, less so with his missing it in this particular play--but it's bracing to register a note of dissent about a playwright who even before his death suffered from over-sanctification as much as he did from a more general misunderstanding.

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