Sunday, May 08, 2011

POW! (Play Of The Week)

The Pride
By Alexi Kaye Campbell

It is 1958. Philip is married to Sylvia, who is illustrating Oliver’s most recent children’s book. There is a frisson between Philip and Oliver when they first meet as they skirt around what cannot be explicitly said.

It is 2008. Fed up with his inscrutable infidelity, Philip leaves Oliver, alone and drowning his sorrows in role-play and scotch. Oliver enlists Sylvia, who introduced them, to counteract his loneliness.

The Pride is a gorgeously-drawn elliptical play that alternates between two very distinct time periods and the lives of three characters whose fate is written by their eras. As the play continues, we realize that these characters share the same names and are shadows of one another. Philip, Oliver and Sylvia are all fighting for what they hope will be an easier life than the one they have known. The actions that they take in 1958 mirror, affect and illustrate those that take place in 2008. Campbell’s brilliantly funny dialogue and perceptive observations bring the characters to life. As it explores fate, love, fidelity and forgiveness, The Pride asks questions about contemporary life (gay and straight), but doesn’t presume to answer any of them concretely.

Filled with strong scenes and monologues for men and women in their 30s (though equally appropriate for 20s or 40s!), The Pride is a great play for actors and directors looking for material and playwrights looking for some strong contemporary writing to be inspired by.

3M, 1W (doubling)

Recommended by Kate


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