Monday, 24 June 2013

Man of Steel, Woman of Bugs

From another production of the same play
My venerable colleague in criticism, Mr Michael Cox, took me to see Man of Steel. While I do not like to complain about anything that attended with a friend, I spent quite a bit of the film wondering whether Zack Snyder realises quite how many phallic symbols he includes in his movies. I mean, there are bound to be a few, but encasing general Zod inside a flying dildo is pushing it.

When I had finished shouting after the film, Michael and I fell into familiar conversations about theatre. At one point, he asked me how many plays I could name by Tennessee Williams. This is not some sort of macho challenge game that critics play ('I'll see your twenty Aeschylus plays and raise you a trilogy') but part of a discussion about the relative hit rates of 'great artists.'

I managed to name about five.  He did a few more than that. The point being, even the Big Names of theatre had more duds than scores.

This makes it easy enough to discover a Williams play that has not been done before. 3Bugs, coming straight out of Birmingham, have got a short one, The Pink Bedroom, which is part of their season at the Fringe.

Although Cox makes a good point about the hit rate of the average successful writer, I still wish the Fringe had more of this kind of programming: rare plays by people I think I know. Admittedly, The Pink Bedroom  has got a little bit of that old Williams heat about it. Pairing it with Wuthering Heights makes it clear: let's get into some of that nasty passion.

Last year, 3Bugs did The Bloody Chamber - they like some hardcore action. Bring it on, Fringe 2013...


Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013

The Morning After Season: Wuthering Heights & The Pink Bedroom

The Morning After Season: two shows marked by carelessness, affected by loss and sobered by the morning after.
Wuthering Heights ‘I am Heathcliff! He's always ... in my mind: Not as a pleasure, any more than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.’ (Catherine, Wuthering Heights)

Set amongst the heath and harebells, Brontë's novel tells the tale of the enduring, passionate and ultimately destructive love of Heathcliff and Catherine. Presented with a modern twist, 3BUGS presents a version of Wuthering Heights, which re-situates this classic story to the unfulfilled generation of the 1980s.

‘Heathcliff and Catherine truly embodied the idea that existence isn’t pure or idealised, but wild, passionate, cruel, and powerful.’ Redbrick

The Pink Bedroom ‘The Pink Bedroom ... worse than drink or drugs.’ (Tennessee Williams)

Following its UK premiere in 2008, 3BUGS presents the rarely performed, one-act Tennessee Williams play that explores the declining relationship between a man and a woman who are reduced by desire to nothing other than a 'lump of flesh' and a cloying pink bedroom. This leaves her confronted with the question: can a mistress ever be entitled to as much as a wife?

theSpace on the Mile
2-24 August (not 4, 11, 18). Previews 2 & 3 August
Performed in alteration. Wuthering Heights 5 August, The Pink Bedroom 6 August

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