Not wanting to “sell the leads” of the play in this article, Dramsoc offer us up the brass tacks in this neat twisty taste of Chicago business life in a show premiering tonight at 7pm in Dramsoc’s LG1 (Arts Block) and running nightly until Friday 30th October.
The greatest feature of this production is the diverse portrayal of its characters. From the opening scene, we look inside the desperate world of two men engaging in various business ideals – John Williamson and Shelly ‘The Machine’ Levene.
Actor Ger Adlum sets a real standard in transforming Shelley’s appeal, depending on what situation his character happens to find himself in. At the opening, he is a forlorn man desperate to attain funds off a former junior workmate John, played by Paul Fleming.
Towards of the middle of the play, however, Shelley gains the upper hand and is transformed perfectly into a once-again confident man, eager to boast about his tales of success to any recent naysayers. This doesn’t last for long though, as his biddings catch up with him when said naysayer (Williamson) burns him in the final scene.
Other complementary pairings include Dave Moss and George Aaronow, played by James McNulty and Finbar Doyle respectively. Moss is a know-it-all confidant who speaks shrewdly about his intentions, actions and pleasures, while Aaronow is a remorsefully silly character, devoid of brains and timing. Together, the pair are reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy: Doyle is perfectly capable of making Aaronow seem gullible, but later in the play you’ll find out that this is just a product of Doyle’s acting brilliance.
David Mamet, the creator of the play, wrote it in 1982. It is set in 1983 and, together with the near-perfect accents compliments of the actors, brings the viewer in to a close replication of the lifestyle that it reflects. According to producer James McNulty, “the play draws partly on Mamet’s experiences of life in a Chicago real estate office, where he worked briefly in the 1960s.”
When viewing the play, the questions “Why is it called Glengarry Glen Ross? Am I watching the right play?” may arise. Fear not! Yes, you are watching the correct play. Its name is just obscure to the average UCD student (Glengarry and Glen Ross are both American company names, so you know).
As it is about salesmen, bribery, intimidation and the like, the actors must set out to do the same to their audience. Are they successful at this? Well, I wouldn’t like them talking to me like that!