Wednesday, February 14, 2018

7 March - August: Osage County

I hope you enjoyed The Hollow.  I have to confess I was a little disappointed, which is a shame as I've just picked up the book of 4 more Agatha Christie plays that I had ordered!

March will be completely different!  And I'm quite excited about it.  It's a script I'd forgotten I had, and simply can't remember buying!  August: Osage County is a Pulitzer Prize winning comedy drama.  Some of  you may have seen the film with Benedict Cumberbatch, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts (order of listing Ed's choice!).  Or even at the National Theatre in London.  It strikes me a a modern Tennessee Williams.  I'm trying to cut it, but so far it just seems too good!  

You can of course look it up on Wikipedia, which for those of you who find following plays in English more difficult might be a good idea - but otherwise I would suggest you enjoy watching this family drama unfold.

So, here we go.

Tracy Letts (4 July 1965)

Tracy Letts is an American playwright, screenwriter, and actor. He received the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play August: Osage County and a Tony Award for his portrayal of George in the revival of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? He is also known for his portrayal of Andrew Lockhart in seasons 3 and 4 of  Homeland, for which he has been nominated for two Screen Actors Guild Awards as a member of the ensemble. 

The Introduction to the Play

The child comes home and the parent puts the hooks in him. The old man, or the woman, as the case may be, hasn’t got anything to say to the child. All he wants is to have that child sit in a chair for a couple of hours and then go off to bed under the same roof. It’s not love. I am not saying that there is not such a thing as love. I am merely pointing to something which is different from love but which sometimes goes by the name of love. It may well be that without this thing which I am talking about there would not be any love. But this thing in itself is not love. It is just something in the blood. It is a kind of blood greed, and it is the fate of a man. It is the thing which man has which distinguishes him from the happy brute creation. When you got born your father and mother lost something out of themselves, and they are going to bust a hame trying to get it back, and you are it. They know they can’t get it all back but they will get as big a chunk out of you as they can.  And the good old family reunion, with picnic dinner under the maples, is very much like diving into the octopus tank at the aquarium.  Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men


Beverly Weston
The father of the Weston family, aged 69, an alcoholic and washed-up poet. His mysterious disappearance one evening causes the family's reunion. The reasons for his disappearance are a major plot point that bring some of the family's dark past painfully back into the light.
Violet Weston
The mother of the Weston family, aged 65. Undergoing treatment for oral cancer, she is addicted to several prescription drugs, mostly depressants and narcotics. Despite her drug-induced episodes, she is sharp-tongued and shrewd; she is aware of the family's many secrets and not hesitant to reveal them for her own benefit.
Barbara Fordham
The oldest daughter of the Weston Family, age 46. Mother of Jean and wife of Bill, though they are currently separated. She is a college professor in Boulder, Colorado. She wants to save her marriage, but has the intense need to control everything around her as it falls apart.
Ivy Weston
The middle daughter of the Weston family, age 44. The only daughter to stay in Oklahoma, she works as a librarian at the local college, and her calm and patient exterior hides a passionate woman who is gradually growing cynical. 
Karen Weston
The youngest daughter in the Weston family, age 40. She is newly engaged to Steve, whom she considers the "perfect man", and lives with him in Florida, planning to marry him soon. Karen can talk of little else but her own happiness.
Bill Fordham
Barbara's estranged husband and Jean's father, age 49. A college professor, he has left his wife for a younger woman named Cindy, one of his students, but wants to be there for his family. His marriage is disintegrating and his patience is slowly running thin.
Jean Fordham
Bill and Barbara's smart-tongued 14-year-old daughter. She smokes pot and cigarettes, is a vegetarian, loves old movies, and is bitter about her parents' split. 
Steve Heidebrecht
Karen's fiancé, age 50. A businessman in Florida (whose business, it is hinted, centers around the Middle East and may be less than legitimate).
Mattie Fae Aiken
Violet's sister, Charlie's wife and Little Charles' mother, age 57. Just as jaded as her sister, Mattie Fae constantly belittles her son and antagonizes her husband.
Charlie Aiken
Husband of Mattie Fae and father of Little Charles, age 60. Charlie, a genial man, was a lifelong friend of Beverly. He struggles to get Mattie Fae to respect Little Charles.
"Little" Charles Aiken
Son of Mattie Fae and Charlie, 37 years old. Unemployed and clumsy, his mother calls him a "screw-up", which may be a self-fulfilling prophecy. 
Johnna Monevata
A Cheyenne Indian woman, age 26, whom Beverly hires as a live-in housekeeper shortly before he disappears. Violet is prejudiced against her, but she wins over the other family members with her cooking skills, hard work, and empathy. Johnna is the silent witness to much of the mayhem in the house.
Sheriff Deon Gilbeau
A high-school classmate and former boyfriend of Barbara's, age 47.

In Summary:

Beverly and Violet

Mattie Fae
(Sister to Violet)

Charlie (husband)



Little Charles (son)



Set Layout

Please look at the photos, but basically you are looking at:

Ground Floor - or First Floor as in the American Way
Dining Room with archway to sitting room - Living Room - Study with arch to front door & stairs up

First Floor - 2nd in US
Landing with window seat and bedrooms off and stairs up

The Attic
A single bedroom

NB:  All the windows of the house have been covered and sealed to stop light coming into the house.


T.S.Elliot:  We've come across him before.  Famous for his bleak, deep poetry. And Cats.
Hart Crane:  Great admirer of TSE, writer of deep difficult modernist poetry.
John Berryman:  Major 20th Century American poet, credited with inventing the Confessional school of poetry.
Eric Clapton!  Yes. Really.

T.S. Elliot:  The  Hollow Men V

Here we go round the prickly pear
    Prickly pear prickly pear
    Here we go round the prickly pear
    At five o'clock in the morning.

    Between the idea
    And the reality
    Between the motion
    And the act
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    Between the conception
    And the creation
    Between the emotion
    And the response
    Falls the Shadow
                                   Life is very long
    Between the desire
    And the spasm
    Between the potency
    And the existence
    Between the essence
    And the descent
    Falls the Shadow
                                   For Thine is the Kingdom
    For Thine is
    Life is
    For Thine is the
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.

Eric Clapton:  When You're Gone

Like a shadow on my wall
you can make my neckskin crawl
and you don't have to say or do a thing at all
to catch me when I fall
Like the bloom of dandelions
you send shivers down my spine
and I will never lose my faith when you're mine
to me you are devine
When you're gone
there's a song to support me
when you're here
you're the song I hear
you bring music everywhere
Like an angel from above
you're an undivided love
and when I close my eyes it's you I'm thinking of
peace you bring, little dove
When you're gone
there's a song to support me
when you're here
you're the song I hear
you bring music everywhere
And the stars form constellations in your eyes
maybe that's why it's so hard to say goodbye
and your precence makes me more than flesh and bone
but when you slip away my inside turns to stone
when you're here
you're a song my dear
you bring music everywhere

No comments:

Post a Comment