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I’m not quite sure why, having devoted several paragraphs of a programme note to his relationship with the works of Tennessee Williams, Canadian Daniel MacIvor then insists that his short drama isn’t a play about the great American writer.

Especially as it’s impossible to ignore the similarities from the moment the unnamed Playwright begins to speak in a Southern drawl.

Set in a Vancouver hotel room in 1980, it covers the day before and morning after the premiere of a production considerably revised by The Playwright since its disastrous reception in London. Dependant on drugs, drink and the ministrations of The Assistant (a former lover and muse turned nursemaid, secretary and protective guardian) to get him through, he’s abusive and blustering, insecure and demanding – a sad relic of former greatness – but still susceptible to the physical charms of the rather dumb $120 a night hustler (Toby Wharton), hired as eye candy for the opening night and eager to swop his LA porn star ambitions for a stage role written just for him.

The bitchy exchanges between The Assistant (Russell Bentley) and The Playwright (Matthew Marsh) are well handled, as are the power games played by the three protagonists. And although there’s more than a stylistic nod to Tennessee’s own works, you’re unlikely to come away with a great deal more insight into the man himself.

Until 19th May | £12-£16
Finborough | Finborough Road, SW10 9ED
Tube | Earl’s Court
finboroughtheatre.co.uk


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Review: His Greatness, Finborough Theatre
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