Saturday, January 12, 2008

12th January 2008
Its late, I can't sleep. just back from the Lyceum, for the opening night of Tennessee Williams' play.
The Glass Menagerie: I don't want to attack it, it's beautifully written, nor grumble about the production. It was done with real sensitivity and skill.
Every time I go to the Lyceum now I sit in the audience and I look at the stage and I try to imagine what i want to happen there.
This play is so beautiful in so many ways: and yet, at the interval, sitting eating my ice cream.. I suddenly felt a real dread of what was to come.
Of the suffering about to be so skillfully portrayed in the final half.
Is that the effect i want? Suffering?
And it happened, as it had to: the mother, Williams own mother, so embarrassing it made me cringe.
I remember that feeling, it was a very brief time, when i found my mother a huge and shameful embarassment.
I grew through it, I think. Williams obviously didn't.
And to portray her like that, on a stage, where she saw... he must have hated her.
And his sister's suffering, so sensitively portrayed...
At the very end, riven with guilt at his leaving her, he asks her to blow the candles out.
And she does.
I suddenly remembered the end of my Playing With Fire: all the lit candles on the stage have been put out, one by one, and the Devil tempts Justina with the very last.
She could put it out, too, so easily: and she refuses.
And then she hears the singing of the birds.
She looks up: and the candle's no longer needed, because the sun has risen.
A greater light has come.
And i think: I'll stick with lit candles.

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