The above mentioned play is the second in the last few months in Albuquerque of what we might call 'dialect' British plays.. These are plays which are dependent on getting the inflections of English as spoken in Britain to get us to laugh. They are both mildly acceptable in Britain, but largely untranslatable in the US. This one is a disaster. One half of the audience left at the interval. Who knows why the rest remained. Five of the six actors had no idea what they were pronouncing nor why and the sixth did a decent job of doing a 'cockney' or British working class accent. Let's not blame the actors, this was clearly the fault of very poor directions and very poor choice of a play to be produced her. Someone, perhaps the director, might have given them a notion of the meaning of their lines and the correct inflection, however, that didn't stop them saying the lines. One member said "Well, I never" with an unheard of inflection, not realizing that in British English the statement "well I never" rises at the final syllable indicating that there is the second half of the sentence which remains unsaid. Another actor states three times that he has a 'boarding school' education without knowing that such an education gives him a different accent and social class from the others on the stage. Perhaps the most damming behavior is that when there is an engagement party at the beginning of the play the individual actors stand about without any idea why they are there. In any decent production they would be mingling and chatting with each other during this party.
I have no idea how well these actors may do when properly directed, however, given the poor direction the play deserves the walkouts. There are plenty of good American playwrights with plays not dependent on British dialects, in this case London, which may be chosen and effectively directed. I recommend the theatre choose more carefully what it presents to benefit from the talents of its crew.
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