‘A spare theatre ticket you say? …Count me in!’
And… this is how I managed to get a pretty good seat to watch John at the Dorfman the other night. Yes I am a fiend when it comes to theatre, if you didn’t know… keep up!
Sadly when I was told the run would be over 3 hours I felt extremely betrayed and was not looking forward to sitting through yet another play hoping for it to end. But I thought I should give it the benefit of the doubt, after all I could always just run away.
Annie Baker’s play is set in a creepily cosy B&B in Gettysburg, close to the bloody battlefield of the American civil war run by owner Mertis (Marylouise Burke).
The story begins as a young sight-seeing couple arrive at the B&B: their relationship is clearly on the edge, as the story progresses you get to witness the breakdown of their relationship as well as get to know Mertis and her blind BFF Genevieve (June Watson).
I absolutely loved the set: it was so detailed, helping to create an uneasy atmosphere for the audience with all the myriad dolls and trinkets. The acting was very naturalistic, every moment felt honest and the run time felt like a swift walk in the park. The passing of time was represented by the use of the grandfather clock in the lounge that Mertis spun around and her presence at times felt very ghost like.
Anneika Rose’s bright eyed portrayal of ‘Jenny’ in contrast with Tom Mothersdale’s version of the insecure ‘Elias’ were a perfect match and it was very great to watch.
In conclusion, every actor did a great job showcasing the honesty of their part and each of them added something new to the world that made the show interesting, even when nothing was really going on… The last line of the play is quality because not only does it answer important questions you’ve had throughout the play but it also leaves you on a cliffhanger questioning the future of everything.
If you haven’t seen this show already I’d recommend having a watch because you get to witness a group of great actors in a play written brilliantly.