The National Theatre
Attention: Nicholas Hytner
Why does the National Theatre keep hiring the incompetent Katie Mitchell as a director? You are doing yourselves a great disservice, to say nothing of your poor customers.
I am safely back home in San Francisco now, but the bad taste of A Woman Killed with Kindness still lingers.
Thomas Heywood must be turning over in his grave. "Oh, joy!" he must have thought. "I am to have a production of my play again, every hundred years or so." But then Katie Mitchell got her "creative" hands on it and made the actors turn their backs to the audience, speak from offstage for too long, run up and down an interminable staircase, removing one picture at a time -- in case we could not figure out that a character is losing his fortune. Then she made much of servants coming and going in and out with furniture. Oh, it must be a Communist commentary on the Working Class and how boring their jobs are. Katie: " Let's really rub that in the faces of those fat-cats in the audience! Oh, nobody's in the audience? Remove the interval! Remove the interval, and the audience will have to stay!" Let the stagehands pick up some of the female characters and move them around, possibly to make the point that they are no more than part of the furniture. But do it so that it is unfocused, incoherent, and makes the Lyttelton seem even more of a barn than it is.
I escaped after half an hour. You couldn't lock me in any longer. Maybe Katie Mitchell can try locking the exits next time. It can be another feather in her cap, as she triumphs in the Theatre of Punishment.
---Daniel Curzon, author of SOMETHING YOU DO IN THE DARK (Putnam
Causes daniel curzon Supports
gay literature and non-gay literature too