Wednesday, August 26, 2009

His Greatness

Photo: Neilson Barnard

Playwright Daniel MacIvor
describes his Fringe Festival play His Greatness as "Inspired by a potentially true story about playwright Tennessee Williams." The Tennessee Williams character--known here only as "the playwright"--is an over-the-hill alcoholic desperate for a final hurrah. His assistant both adores and disrespects him, while the uneducated hustler that the assistant procures for him, who has never heard of the playwright, is nevertheless dazzled by his fame. His Greatness has some interesting and moving moments, and the changing allegiances among the three men are intriguing, if not totally convincing. However, the play relies too much on not-so-sharp campy humor and truly dumb "dumb jokes." I feel that there is an excellent play hiding in His Greatness, but it would be about the assistant, rather than the playwright. The assistant is the one who has the most at stake, the assistant is the one who learns something, the assistant is the one who changes.

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