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The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?

  • 25th Feb, 2005 at 3:16 PM

Last night, I went out to a play with Coombs again. This time, Allison came along and she seemed to enjoy herself as well.

We saw The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, a play by Edward Albee. It is about love, honesty, betrayal, shouting, smashing of pottery, and slaughter. Quite an intense and exhausting performance to watch, and I can't even imagine performing it.

The script was both funny and tragic. Definitely controversial material, with tons of dark humour thrown in. The set design at the Centaur has always been amazing, and this time the modern architect's surroundings were perfect for the script. There was, somewhat distractingly, a little bit of written wanking on the playwright's part. He throws in little meta-literary jokes, grammar nitpicks throughout, that throw you out of the gripping emotion that he works hard to build. Real people don't talk this way, but writers do as they chuckle to themselves. I know, because I've done this before. It's fun to put to paper, but this is what a judicious editor should cut out before it goes too far.

Both leads, Gordon McCall and Jennifer Morehouse were absolutely astonishing in their performances. McCall is the artistic/executive director of the Centaur, and his ability to act is amazing. And Morehouse kept up over an hour of basically non-stop fury. That takes a lot of stamina, something that I couldn't possible muster.

Once again, this play led to discussion about its content, and the moral questions that arise. So Allison, Coombs and I retreated to the Faubourg 24 hour coffee shop to sit and chat about the prickly issues that came up. Soon we were tired and all resolved to go home. All in all, quite an eventful night.

Who is Silvia? What is she,
That all our swains commend her?
Holy, fair, and wise is she;
The heaven such grace did lend her,
That she might admired be.