January 20, 2007

W. Somerset Maugham, The Circle @ ACT Theater.

Maugham, I think, is one of those writers that I tried to tackle too early in my reading life and just got turned off. I never quite got into Of Human Bondage the way I did, say, by anything F Scott or various other Moderns ever wrote. This production of The Circle--once again a fantastic cast, beautiful set, all the things the ACT is recognized for--makes me want to pick a few Maugham tombs off the library shelf and give him another pass.

It's nice how the timeline of events that occured prior to the on stage action remians somewhat vague: at what point did Elizabeth decide to invite Arnold's estranged mother to visit, before or after she decided to run off with a lover just as Lady Kitty had done?

It's also nice how the play steamrollers to the conclusion that seems evident from the first act, only to throw the audience of the path several times through adjustments in tone (act 2 ends as the totally violent downer opposite of the laugh out loud first scene), making you doubt the inevitable in the final act.

At ACT until February 3rd.



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