Thursday, September 18, 2008

No Man's Land

We went to see a play last night at the Gate Theatre. I got second row seats, but I expected there to be an orchestra bay between the first row and the stage. But nope - first row was right up against the stage.

I can't even tell you what the play was about. Wikipedia says:

"No Man's Land is the name of a 1974 play by the English dramatist Harold Pinter.

The play is a four-hander. Hirst, a successful but isolated and alcoholic writer, looked after and guarded by Foster and Briggs, has met Spooner, a failed writer (if a writer at all) who seeks to inveigle himself into Hirst's household.

Once the four characters are established, the play shows their manoeuvrings - Foster and Briggs seeking to fend off Spooner, and Hirst and Spooner's verbal jousting. An entire scene is spent on Hirst's mistaken - or feigned - recognition of Spooner as an Oxford contemporary from the 1930s, to which Spooner plays up, leading both of them into ever-increasing extravagance of reminiscence. The play ends ambiguously, after Spooner's most blatant attempt to supplant Foster and Briggs, when Hirst pronounces that the subject has been changed for the last time, leaving him (and conceivably the others) 'in no man's land...which never moves, which never changes, which never grows older, but which remains forever icy and silent.'"

We went because of the actors. They are relatively famous here and in the US:
  1. Michael Gambon (Hirst): This is one of those actors that you would recognize but not sure from where. His credits include all of the Harry Potter movies, Layer Cake, The Good Shepard.

  2. David Walliams (Foster): His main credit is for one half of a comedy show called Little Britain. They are actually going to start Little Britain USA on HBO on Sunday, September 28 at 10:00 pm EST.

  3. Nick Dunning (Briggs): He's currently playing Anne Boleyn's father in The Tudors on Showtime. They're filming the second and/or third season here in Dublin so his schedule seems to work out well.

  4. David Bradley (Spooner): Harry Potter movies. He had the most lines in the actual play.

We weren't sure if we could take pictures, but here is one of the stage:

Cell phone pictures don't have the best resolution, but you can get the idea. That's taken standing in the middle of the theatre, so you can see it's not very big at all. We guessed about 400 people maximum.

All in all a great night! I think an Oscar Wilde play is next.


Evacuee said...

If you want to see another play that will have you questioning the author's purpose, I think you should do Waiting for Godot next...

nikki said...

It's too funny that you say that. The literary pub crawl is led by actors and the first thing that they do is a piece from that play. When we saw that it was going to be on for a while, we decided to go. I think the only option is to go to Navan - about 40 minutes away - but I'm sure it'll be worth it!