Speed The Plow at the Gladstone

Well, it’s been a ridiculously busy couple of weeks for me. I’ve wrapped up one writing contract with Parks Canada and I am in the process of lining up another contract with a different government department. Combined with Thanksgiving, I’ve gotten behind in my reviewing. Here is a much delayed review of Plosive Productions latest show:

Last Wednesday, I saw Speed The Plow at the Gladstone by David Mamet. Mamet is an iconic American playwright and the majority of his work has a very dark tone.   Mamet assaults his audience with his language and the characters often have a pessimistic view of human nature in general and women in particular.  Speed the Plow is no exception.  The script, punctuated with the “f word”, tells the story of Hollywood executive, Bobby Gould (John Muggleton), a self described corporate whore.  Bobby is at the height of his career and desires to find a woman who will not be drawn to his power but his true self.  His colleague Charlie Fox (Chris Ralph) believes the only women attracted to a man like Bobby are either dumb or manipulatively ambitious. Enter the temp. Karen (Kayla Gray) somewhat naive, but definitely not dumb. A bet is made. Will Bobby be able to seduce her?

Those familiar with Mamet’s other work will not be surprised by the conclusion of the play;nonetheless, I found myself in an intense post-theatre conversation,that went very late into the evening, about the themes of the piece and well misogyny in general.

I would have liked to see Bobby Gould played with a bit more of an edge. I think the artistic choices made by Muggleton and director Teri Lorretto-Valentik resulted in Bobby coming off as a nice guy. The evidence in the script,however,  suggests that there is absolutely nothing redeeming about this character. He is a misogynist, which underlines and influences all the action on the stage.

Overall though, I enjoyed Plosive Production of Speed The Plow and I recommend seeing it.

I especially liked the way that Loretto-Valentik reached out to audiences before and after the show.  Building relationships with audiences is key to a theatre’s (or any business for that matter) success.  Loretto-Valentik excels at this,  others would be wise to imitate her.

For more information on show dates and ticket prices click here.


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