Monday, October 25, 2010

Drama of Freedom

Night and Day

by Tom Stoppard

"I felt part of a privileged group, inside society and yet outside it, with a licence to scourge it and a duty to defend it, night and day, the street of adventure, the fourth estate." (Night and Day, Act 1)

Tom Stoppard's play. Night and Day, was first performed at the Phoenix Theatre, London, on November 8, 1978.  The current production by Remy Bumppo proves that this play has the staying power to speak to us today.  Directed with the vision of experience by James Bohnen, the whole ensemble was more than capable in presenting an outstanding two hours of drama.  I particularly enjoyed the strong performance of Linda Gillum in the complex role of Ruth.  

Stoppard always provides a wealth of witty word play, but in this case the production added the spark that is needed to take the words beyond mere caustic cerebral commentary and make them come alive with meaning for the audience.  This play, although more than thirty years old and based on the currents events of its day still was able to speak to issues today;  issues centering on the theme of freedom, both of the press, the world, and personal relations.  James Bohnen commented in Remy Bumppo's "Field Guide" of background information, the play "seems to center on three struggles about freedom: freedom of the press; freedom of a country; personal freedom (Ruth's struggle)."  Remy Bumppo has shown once again that they are more than capable of presenting "think" theater with meaning and value for an appreciative audience.

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