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"The Room" Weirdness
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Zahir
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:16 am    Post subject: "The Room" Weirdness Reply with quote

As some of you may know, I write theatre reviews in Los Angeles. The night after tomorrow (Thursday, February 4) I'm going to see [i]"The Room"[/i] a world premiere at the world-famous REDCAT theatre of a hitherto unpublished play by Harold Pinter.

Pinter btw is a big dead, one of the most important English language playwrights of the 20th century. He is renowned for writing works around silences and pauses. I've even appeared in a couple of his works myself.

The Wooster Group--an internationally renowned theatre company--is doing this production. But Samuel French, the publisher that handles the works of the Pinter estate, has forbidden any reviews of the play!

And they say they're not at liberty to discuss why.

So when I see the play to which I've been invited as a theatre critic, I'm supposed to write about the play but not review the production. Somehow. Confused Shocked Razz
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems an odd demand for this Samuel French to make, Zahir! It's like he's somehow ashamed or uncomfortable about the production that the Wooster Group is doing. I wonder what legal basis he has to make such a demand of reviewers? Is your accepting of a ticket somehow contingent on your agreeing to reviewing the show as the publisher wishes? I suppose if you could get your hands on the script it would be something to work with, or you could listen to the play with your eyes closed.. Wink It all sounds very weird! Confused
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Zahir
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harold Pinter died some years ago. Samuel French Inc. handles his estate and offered the play for production.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Can they even do that? Tell people no reviews are allowed? Do they even know about the internet? Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They can withdraw permission to perform the play.
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well sure, but once it is performed, nothing can stop people talking about it.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 08, 2016 8:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

People are doing that with other mediums, like movies and video games. Essentially, you try to control the information about the product so nothing negative comes out about it to affect sales.

Not sure how that applies here, though.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I saw that with AC:Unity I think...they embargoed all reviews until 24 hours after release or something...maybe 48. Because it was a broken horrendous mess and they didn't want people to know before they bought it.

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've seen the show. Will post my not/review this week.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 4:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, link us up when you don't. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 4:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would be interesting to read your review, Zahir! Cool
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Grin Here is my review: http://zahirblue.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-room-review.html.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I appreciate it, Zahir! It sounds like the unorthodox production methods made the uneasiness of the play have more emotional force. It's too bad French didn't approve of the innovations. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose French could have thought of the innovations as "unwarranted liberties taken" with the play that would somehow reflect badly upon the play itself. Just a guess.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting that in the play the empty room below is a source of anxiety without a concrete reason given why. Is it a metaphor of human fear of the unknown, or of change, I'm wondering?
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it was a reaction to the way people were living unauthentic lives--the forced cheerfulness, the strident effort to be "normal," the relentless drive for prosperity in the aftermath of the Holocaust, when the Cold War was in full swing, and social problems were ignored whenever possible. Society as a whole was often in denial, and many were the artists in all media trying hard to force some authentic emotion, something real.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zahir wrote:
I think it was a reaction to the way people were living unauthentic lives--the forced cheerfulness, the strident effort to be "normal," the relentless drive for prosperity in the aftermath of the Holocaust, when the Cold War was in full swing, and social problems were ignored whenever possible. Society as a whole was often in denial, and many were the artists in all media trying hard to force some authentic emotion, something real.



..As if, the people themselves were that empty room, down below, underneath.
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice, thanks for the link.

Interesting idea about the stage directions...sorta meta, innit? Wink

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Nice, thanks for the link.

Interesting idea about the stage directions...sorta meta, innit? Wink

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It sounds like it, at that.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zahir - I expected the review to be in mime or at least ventriloquist. more meta. but a good review aside from medium.
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