Published on November 25th, 2009 | by twistedlilkitty8
Idir Mná presents Glengarry Glen Ross 23-28th November
Based on the Pulitzer Prize winning 1984 play by David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross is the story of the cutthroat competition between real estate agents at a Chicago firm, after they’ve been pitted against each other in a competition scheme by their management. An innovative production of this play is injecting the bitch into the cut-throat. Many years ago when theatre was in its infancy men played the roles of women, now it’s all grown up women are taking their roles back and then some. Yvonne Ussher the artistic director (who plays Joan Williamson) of Idir Mná which translates as “Amongst Women” clarified that ‘before people think it is a lesbian feminist thing – it’s not! And it is not in any way a male bashing machine. Idir Mná aims to address the imbalance in our profession on the lack of decent female roles in a way that doesn’t involve women sitting around complaining about shoes, boys or periods.’
The translation isn’t strange, women are as ambitious as men in the modern workplace, they work hard to get where they are and even harder to stay there. Modern entertainment is testament to this, as millions are absorbed by the bitching and back stabbing of the Apprentice. The play is performed in the intimate venue of The New Theatre, the stage is minimal, clever use of lighting and sound paint the atmosphere, the location, the mood. The first scene throws you in at the deep end, real estate talk, moments of quiet desperation, of bargaining. It sets the tone, how everything is life and death in the world of this office competition. The performances are spectacular, you must understand that this isn’t about women ‘playing’ men, pretending to stand in their shoes. The cast take the roles and make them their own, the vulnerabilities, the snide office place remarks and the need to be the best which both of the sexes are guilty of.
If Idir Mná wanted to show that they could imbalance the way women are portrayed in theatre, they have achieved their goal. The show puts together a group of strong female (some male) performers to tell a story without it crossing my mind that the parts were written for men. The cast are exceptional though special mention should be given to Jane Elizabeth Walsh. She plays Rikki Roma a part made famous in the movie by Al Pacino. She makes the role her own, bringing passion, brashness and warm sexuality to it.
This isn’t a play for women, it’s not like some chick flick where groups of women all go to giggle, nor is it some feminist crusade where there is a bra burning during the interval (there isn’t an interval, but it’s ok), it’s just great production of a wonderful play which should be seen by all.
Idir Mná, a new theatre company that celebrates women in theatre presents an all female(ish) version of Glengarry Glen Ross @ The New Theatre from 23rd – 28th November.
Tickets: €18 / 15 conc