Speed the Plow at Playhouse
There is nothing speedy about Speed the Plow. Standard, satirical and rather slow, it represents 1988 and prior, in that there is little to no innovation.
This production is nothing short of mundane. The set and the story utterly contrast each other. It must be said that the backdrop really modernises the play, however, there are only two settings, both spectacular but leaving one yearning for more scenery.
The three-character play might have been better as a short story read on the radio. That would have been perfect: the very few characters, the personal change in the main character, the journey to change and then the end. By attempting to turn this story into a play, it results in loads of dialogue and very little to actually watch.
The conversations between the characters are extensive. The entire first act is a lengthy conversation between Bobby Gould (Richard Schiff) and Charlie Fox (Nigel Lindsay) with a brief interruption from Karen (Lindsey Lohan), lasting 30 minutes. The lines are quite staged too, with evident pauses and the occasional, accidental stutter – courtesy of Miss Lohan.
The idea, however, is profound, which makes the rest of the play forgivable. The conscious battle between right and wrong for the main character Bobby Gould is relatable to almost everyone. We have few chances to do something right, something selfless, so when it comes do we take it? The play highlights that we should sieze the moment: we begin to do a selfless thing but then our selfish human nature creeps up and drags us right back to where we were before our epiphany. Or does it? That is the question that is left wallowing in our minds as Speed the Plow abruptly ends.
Photos: Simon Annand
Speed the Plow is at Playhouse Theatre until 22nd November 2014, for further information or to book visit here.