Dave Moss – Robert Glenister
John Williamson – Kris Marshall
James Lingk – Daniel Ryan
Balen – Oliver Ryan
Ricky Roma – Christian Slater
Shelly Levene – Stanley Townsend
George Aaronow – Don Warrington
Venue: Playhouse Theatre
Date: Thursday 4th January 2018
Corruption. Greed. Self importance.
Well at one point I think that is what the American dream turned into, Glengarry Glen Ross looks at salesmen and how it differs when you are flying and when you are struggling. Everyone looks after themselves first and those messages from this 1980s set play still ring true today, the method of sales and real estate might have changed but the morals behind are still the same to this day.
I will admit that I didn’t have full knowledge of what the play was about before heading to the theatre, but a little background in the programme before the performance started was more than enough to be able to understand what was going on from start to finish.
The play is split into two acts, the first which has three scenes takes place in a Chinese restaurant with conversations between two characters at a time, this gives some insight into what they are trying to do and achieve within the business they are working in. The second part they are all together after the leads had been stolen from the office, causing a lot of tension and anger.
It shows just what these men will do to try to make some money. Nothing is off-limits as they are willing to lie, burgling, bribing and threatening those around them. Whether that is someone they are trying to sell undesirable property.
I think the fact that this play debuted in 1983 yet still gets rivals in the West End and Broadway shows that it is still as powerful as over 30 years ago. I couldn’t help but think about Gordon Gekko from Wall Street and the whole ‘greed is good’ thing going on, I know this was Chicago and not New York but it seems as though those ideals were all around in the 80s.
Each of the characters have their own issues they must deal with as the competition on the board in the office was heating up. If you are on a hot streak like Ricky Roma then nothing is going to stop you, even when James Lingk really wants to cancel the deal as his wife was not happy at all he pushes the boundaries. John Williamson is trying to run the office and is facing a job loss when the deals were stolen. But who stole them? Dave Moss and George Aaronow had a plan, don’t forget about how much Shelly Levene is struggling to make any sales.
The performances were truly outstanding from the whole cast, the emotions, the arguments and the climax was engaging and dramatic with them all working so fantastically together. I thought Stanley Townsend had such a great role as Levene and had some cracking lines that you could not help laugh as he was excited to be back in the game. The chance to see Christian Slater on stage is what pulled me into the play and he does not disappoint, he is an outstanding actor! I really did enjoy the play on a whole with the incredible performances, brilliant to see Kris Marshall in this type of role after mainly seeing him do comedy as well.
Glengarry Glen Ross is running at the Playhouse Theatre until 3rd February 2018, check out the website for more information and to book tickets.