Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Winterling

Sometimes my naivete can be a benefit. Having never read any of Jez Butterworth's work before, his ear for dialogue was what hit me first. The rhythm and repetition, so poetic and integral to his characters, was dovetailed into a story that played out like a snapshot of some larger tale. What I loved was the way that each character's present in these circumstances was just a section their lives, their individual metanarrative. With the Winterling, there is a strong sense of before and after, and yet you submit to enjoy the interceding moments, the present of a play which is only simple at the surface.

Had a conversation in the foyer with Paul, concerning the origins of this sort of male centered, London criminal storyline. Which came first: the Guy Ritchie craze, or the soulful crafting of Jez Butterworth? It certainly hope it was the latter. And as much as I liked Snatch, I have to say I preferred the Winterling, even in its imperfections, for giving me such a sense of mystery, hope, and humor all wound up into one. He has given each character an opportunity to have their fears and flaws, while still remaining likeable, the sort of people we hope achieve what they wish to achieve.

(And kudos to the girl who held her own in this male-centric world.)

The Winterling continues at the Royal Court through April 8---which happens to be my birthday!


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