sun 26/05/2024

Lakeboat/ Prairie du Chien, Arcola Theatre Studio 2 | reviews, news & interviews

Lakeboat/ Prairie du Chien, Arcola Theatre Studio 2

Lakeboat/ Prairie du Chien, Arcola Theatre Studio 2

Tough Chicago crewmen, violent poker on a night train - it must be David Mamet

'Lakeboat': Chris Jarman, Ed Hughes and Nigel Cooke as Mamet's competitive crewmenImages © Alastair Muir

David Mamet plays can, nearly always, be relied upon to be muscular. Leastways, when you think about his early signature plays – American Buffalo (1975), Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1976) and the Pulitzer award-winning Glengarry Glen Ross (1983) – the first thing that springs to mind is the manner and cadence of male speech and communication. A consistent critique of capitalism, Mamet’s early works did it by exploring masculinity and brilliantly dissecting the male psyche and the strutting aggression of men involved in scoring one over each other, be it in gambling or pulling a con. Even later work such as the provocative Oleanna (1992) setting male against female in a climate of political correctness exuded a prowling menace.

David Mamet plays can, nearly always, be relied upon to be muscular. Leastways, when you think about his early signature plays – American Buffalo (1975), Sexual Perversity in Chicago (1976) and the Pulitzer award-winning Glengarry Glen Ross (1983) – the first thing that springs to mind is the manner and cadence of male speech and communication. A consistent critique of capitalism, Mamet’s early works did it by exploring masculinity and brilliantly dissecting the male psyche and the strutting aggression of men involved in scoring one over each other, be it in gambling or pulling a con. Even later work such as the provocative Oleanna (1992) setting male against female in a climate of political correctness exuded a prowling menace.

In both plays, the dialogue is unmistakable Mamet: taut, cryptic, punchy and colloquially eloquent

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