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REVIEW: Elegy for a Lady and The Yalta Game
3:58pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in Entertainments
ADULTEROUS love between an older man and a younger woman is the theme that links Arthur Miller’s Elegy For A Lady and Brian Friel’s The Yalta Game.
A more subtle connection is that both ponder the nature of reality.
In Elegy For A Lady a married man tries to find a gift for his dying lover.
But is she really dying or does their lack of connection and communication mean he has supposed far more than is really happening?
You are never quite sure. It is thought-provoking and quietly powerful.
The Yalta Game is – on the surface at least – more light-hearted.
Dimitri holidays in Yalta, amusing himself by imagining far-fetched lives for the people he watches congregating around a café in the town square.
He meets and seduces the muchyounger Anna. Again, the watcher is unsure what is real and what isn’t as Dimitri weaves his tales.
He talks to the audience, inviting them to wonder with him if what they see happening, really is.
His raised eyebrows and knowing asides also encourage an awareness of the deceptive nature of theatre itself.
Yalta is a place, a game, an escape and a play.
It is also personified in the name of Anna’s little dog, which the audience has to imagine along with Dimitri and Anna.
“Oh come on,” Dimitri says to both her and the audience at one point.
“You know there is no dog.”
Mark Frost and Ruth Everett give believable and aptly enigmatic performances that keep you captivated throughout.
Frost in particular brings to life two very different characters with a disarming skill and charm.
The sparse set is spot-on and the music composed by Greg Hall is haunting.
Both works are thought-provoking and perfectly suited to be presented as a double bill.
* Elegy For A Lady and The Yalta Game run until October 19.
Tickets and more information on 01722 320333 or at salisburyplayhouse.com.
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