Review: Waiting for Lefty, online via Zoom
A performance from 1935: what might you expect? A part of shining Noel Coward perhaps? Well, you’d be well off the mark with that here. Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets is a political theatre, written down the wrong side of the Great Depression and based in the USA. It deals with the lives of ordinary people who are being crushed by the social pressures insidiously imposed against them, gradually lessening their self-worth and humanity. The comedy considers the role of the union, and how coming together in solidarity is the only way to have any strength against behemoth …
An clever, fierce creation, aggressively posed and utterly startling in its contemporary relevance. This register challenges reacts and gives solidarity.
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A play from 1935: what might you expect? A bit of glowing Noel Coward perhaps? Well, you’d be well off the mark with that now. Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets is a political drama, written down the wrong side of the Great Depression and are available in the USA. It deals with the lives of ordinary people who are being crushed by the social pressures insidiously imposed against them, gradually decreasing their self-worth and humanity. The frisk considers the role of the union, and how coming together in harmony is the only way to have any strength against behemoth industries and government gaslighting. More than that, it considers the role of the individual; their fight and how to work together for an improved society.
From the start, the aesthetic of this show is captivating. The flawless help of span music and video stretches us quickly in to a seat where we’re connected with the past, yet solidly in our present. It’s still overwhelming, nonetheless, the extent to which the issues of the past displayed so clearly correspond with those of today in the UK, particularly as social vulnerabilities are starkly highlighted in this pandemic. Taxi motorists unable to earn a living wage, the expendability of healthcare workers, big business running hospitals, undernourished children, racism, gender inequality- these are all themes in the 2021 word on a daily basis. How do we as individuals am thinking about it, and what can we do together to make change?
The sharp give of musicians represent diverse genders, scoots and senilities, which speaks to the intersectionality of the issues being addressed. This is not just a political tirade, the characters we encounter are very human, vulnerable types. As Florrie and Sid dance, they literally cling to each other, and the last fragments of their quality of life. Yet working class stories are balanced by others, such as that of Dr Benjamin, health professionals heartbreakingly expelled from his hard-won position because of racism and nepotism. The meaning now? You don’t believe it’s happening until it happens to you. Individual integrity and concentration is then the first step to change. Union leader Lefty may be the headline behave, but it’s ultimately in the collective actions of society that justice will come.
The Zoom format works incredibly well for this production. Not only has director Phil Cheadle consumed a entire variety of camera tilts to add interest and evaded those repetitive face-on headshots, but the choice of delivery really speaks to the egalitarian nature of the contents. Filmed live from eight different locations, the cloud-based conferencing app accepts Odet’s story of collaboration to connect an intersectional public that could be anywhere in the world, revealing huge likelihood and a global dialogue. It’s not wholly without its hiccups, but the liveness draws an extra urgency as the drama unfolds, especially in the final minutes. It’s clear how this would be highly exhilarating in an onstage production.
The post-show discussion is a valuable investigation of the themes, and I would definitely recommend abiding on for it. This evening brought closer panellists Alex Andreou( performer and political reporter ), James Farrar( ADCU General Sec) and Danisha Kazi( Positive Money) to discuss issues such as algorithmic social command, fairer banking institutions, and the responsibilities of the individual in a consumerist society.
There’s so much to think about here, presented in an effective, entertaining format, but never ceasing to offer affirmation through the portrayal of human positivity. Don’t wait for Lefty- buy air tickets today!
Written by: Clifford OdetsDirected by: Phil CheadleDesigned by: Simon KennySound Design by: Joss Holden-ReaTechnical by: East Municipal FilmsAssociate Produced by: Tim DelapProduced by: Two Strings Productions
Waiting For Lefty is playing each evening at 8p m until Sunday 23 May. The show is live via Zoom. Further information and booking details via the below link.
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