Written by August Strindberg, in a new version by David Greig
Directed by Alan Rickman
Starring Tom Burke, Anna Chancellor, Owen Teale
April16-May 16, 2010
BAM Harvey Theater, 651 Fulton Street, Brooklyn
The plays of August Strindberg--with their explosive provocations on the always-shifting dynamics between men and women--are as relevant and modern as ever. His little-seen Creditors, in a new version by British playwright David Greig playing at BAM, pretty much confirms that.
In this trenchant staging by director Alan Rickman, Creditors feels like the most contemporary of Strindberg’s stage dramas. At first, this “tragic comedy” resembles a drawing-room farce, only with much acidic wit--indeed, the laughs come too easily to a large segment of BAM’s audience, overdoing it in response to such black, bleak lines--then almost imperceptibly shifts gears into something more serious and horrific, as the laughs become more unsettling. During Gustav and Tekla’s showdown, the battle lines between the sexes have rarely been drawn so cuttingly and precisely.
Anna Chancellor has the most difficult role, entering the fray after being mercilessly dissected for the first hour: but her Tekla is less archetypal than real. There is no false modesty in her portrayal of a strong-willed, sensuous woman filled with her own sense of both entitlement and neediness. The two men are drawn more sketchily in Strindberg’s universe, yet Owen Teale’s Gustav and Tom Burke’s Adolph balance each other most forcefully as the yin and yang in Tekla’s life.
In 90 breakneck minutes, Creditors takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the psyches of three stimulating characters--and one endlessly provocative playwright.
originally posted on timessquare.com