Boston Marriage Review

  • Written by David Mamet
    Directed: Phyllida Lloyd
    Starring:Zoe Wanamaker, Anna Chancellor and Lyndsey Marshal.
    Story: The term ‘Boston Marriage’ is 19th century slang, for the implied relationship between women who lived together, independent of men. Mamet’s play, which premiered in Boston in 1999 , examines the shifting and ambiguous friendship between two such women, Claire and Anna.

    This production has received mixed notices from the popular press... RHODA KOENIG for THE INDEPENDENT says, “David Mamet's play has the form of a drama without the substance, talk instead of action.” She goes on to say, “this shotgun wedding of camp and crudeness seems more likely to appeal to fans of Larry Grayson than of Bea Lillie. “ NICHOLAS DE JONGH for THE EVENING STANDARD says, “Director Phyllida Lloyd keeps the production at a sprinter’s pace.” He goes on to say Zoe Wanamaker .… projects the comic energy of this extended theatrical sketch.” CHARLES SPENCER for THE DAILY TELEGRAPH says, “Mamet develops his plot with ingenuity and humour, and though this short play sometimes seems little more than a sketch, it proves surprisingly resonant.” He goes on to say, “Boston Marriage is an enjoyable and startling piece, and suggests that beneath his macho exterior, Mamet is in fact a bit of a ladies' man.” BENEDICT NIGHTINGALE for THE TIMES says, “What possessed as superb a writer as David Mamet to compose Boston Marriage and actresses as excellent as Zoë Wanamaker and Anna Chancellor to perform in it? He goes on to say, “Forget Boston Marriage. If you want a male view of Sapphic emotion in New England, you’d do better to tuck up in bed with Henry James’s The Bostonians.” JANE EDWARDES for TIME OUT says the play has a "very slim plot" and goes on to say the characters "are fanciful creations and director Phyllida Llyod takes the production at breakneck speed, as if afraid that any pause for breath would reveal how little lies beneath the froth of their witty one-liners, tears and tantrums." SHERIDAN MORLEY for TELETEXT says, "Thee may not be, deep down, much of a play here, but there is an hilarious conversation piece." PETER HEPPLE for THE STAGE says, "This short play is both pungent and biting, and gracefully directed by Phyllida Lloyd."

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