Thursday, March 22, 2012

Rutherford & Son

I got to see another play for free thanks to the NYCPlaywrights web site. This time it was Rutherford & Son at the Mint Theater.

I didn't hate the play, but I found it pretty boring especially towards the end. I appreciate that the Mint Theater's mission is to produce older plays and this one is about a hundred years old, but even more notably was written by Githa Sowerby, a woman. She was produced under her initials originally but once her identity was known, the New York Times critic Adolph Klauber expressed his concern:
Even with Miss Sowerby as a shining example, we do not feel that the playwriting instinct in young ladies calls for immediate or emphatic encouragement.
Ah yes, the good ole days.

The play had a solid narrative structure so it avoided the aimlessness of so many contemporary plays, but the concerns of the people in this play were the concerns of a completely different time period so it was hard to identify with, for example, the daughter who spent her first 36 years at home waiting on her father with no contact with men ever. I felt bad for her, of course, but mainly I felt more like "so glad things have improved in the past hundred years."

Also the two Rutherford sons were played with an incredibly whiny manner that was extremely irritating, and the one son's accent kept sliding around from North of England dialect to Received Pronunciation dialect to Indian accent.

The guy who played Rutherford was really good though. He totally was Rutherford.

Of course Shakespeare's time is even further away, (although extreme patriarchy changed very little from his time to Sowerby's time) but I feel more identification with his characters. I guess that's what makes him big bad Avon Bill.