And just briefly, please let me vent. Working in a bookstore has only intensified my hatred of 'chick lit'. If these books are telling the truth of the feminine experience, then I don't want to be a woman anymore. For the love of god, stop embarrassing yourselves with your tacky formulaic writing! Perhaps this is but residual bitterness for the days I spent reading "In Her Shoes" when I was laid up after my wisdom teeth extraction. I want that time back, Ms. Weiner, you bitch! Whoever is buying these books and perpetuating the existence of a genre without any merit whatsoever should be punished. Their penance should involve a hefty dosage of Jane Austen or Sharon Olds or something [Ed. Note: It used to say Any Rand here, but then I realized I actually hate Ayn Rand--sorry, Judy--for being a pretentious twat. It was just a feeble attempt to come up with relevant female writers. Funny how when you need to think of an example of something, the options just fall out of your brain.]
Anyway! I had the distinct pleasure of standing through Mark Ravenhill's newest play, the world premiere of The Cut at the Donmar Warehouse recently. I purposely avoided reading Shopping and Fucking beforehand, in order to reserve judgment. And so, I have no scale on which to reference this play, except on its own merits.
When the acting is placed in such trustworthy hands, you can relax and let the script do its work. I'm not certain that it was saying anything new or as entirely provocative as it fancied for itself, but the tone was intense and the story carried. It takes a lot of guts to be so purposefully vague, never revealing your hand, so to speak. The eponymous cut is never divulged. Ian McKellen is responsible for much of the momentum, although even he can't save it from feeling somewhat incomplete. The atmosphere of Orwellian threat, heavily Pinteresque, is haunting and spare in a thoroughly modern way.
I found out after I had seen it that the actors had just discovered an extra page in their scripts. It had one line, the new last line. Just a few words, but what a difference they make. Economy of dialogue, kids. Keep it focused.
The Cut continues at the Donmar Warehouse (sold-out except for standing tickets) until April 1.