Once again, I’m a little later getting this posted than I’d like to be for a review of a staged performance, so I will keep my comments on the staging of David Mamet’s Oleanna to something more casual than a review.
The script is pretty spectacular. It can be viewed in numerous ways. It can be seen as a play about masculinity in a world where feminism has become the voice of power. Or it can be read as a play about power shifts and power struggles. Or about how ideologies and institutions of all stripes are bound eventually to crush individuals. I suppose it might even be seen as simply a story about a professor and one of his students… but surely no one would really go that route, would they?
Be that as it may, I enjoyed the layered, nuanced script of Oleanna. I liked the playing space, and thought the performance was overall very well done. Charles Mayer has impressed me in every performance I’ve seen him in, and was right on the money again with this one. I thought Jim Bennett did a great job directing. (And I wish I was still going to be in Shanghai for the upcoming performance of Closer, when those two talented gentleman will switch roles, with Bennett acting and Mayer directing.)
Oleanna was a great way for Blue Lane to make its start in Shanghai, and I am really looking forward to seeing more from them in the future.