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A CurtainUp London Review
Like the curate's egg, there are parts of Architecting which are good. I enjoyed Scarlett O'Hara (Kristen Sieh) stammering and spluttering her words as Margaret Mitchell's (Lana Lesley) typewriter keys get stuck in a powerful visual interpretation of the relationship between the writer, the imagined character and the page. I also enjoyed the film script re-write of Gone With the Wind which includes a character who turns out to be Martin Luther King's grandfather and of course the device stolen from Rocky Horror of corsets (and crinoline boned petticoats) for all. Jill Frutkin's singing voice is lovely and I would have enjoyed hearing more music.
I felt the History of America according to Margaret Mitchell can only be one part of the picture. While Jake Margolin's geeky Harvard historian Henry Adams is working on his imperfect cardboard model of the most perfect building, Chartres Cathedral, I was set thinking about my response to the architecture of Reagan National Airport in Washington, which, with its stained glass windows, glass domes and marbled halls seemed to me to be as close as the modern age gets to cathedrals. The multipurpose but makeshift set with its door and drop hatch is used ingeniously as a bar and shop and there are some dramatic moments when the advertising tarpaulins drop.
We are told that the National Theatre of Scotland have had a hand in this production and there is a magnificent piece of their trademark, the choreographed movement in the second act, as they talk about the Katrina march. The people jump forward but they are thrown back only to reassemble. We hear about the rebuilding of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina with the fictional new housing estate Phoenix Meadows with its mansion-plexes which incense Margaret Mitchell with their incorrect columns and the advertising spiel of "There are no limits only edges in this closed community." >Architecting could do with more of both limits and edges. For Jenny Sandman's viewing of the play in New York with plenty of plot detail go here Architecting
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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