THEATRE / A flightless bird
Saturday 03 April 1993
In the middle of a stormy night, a woman sleeping alone is awoken by strange noises to discover that a swan has flown into her front window. She takes the wounded bird inside to nurse it back to health, only to see the swan metamorphose itself into a naked man. The arrival of the woman's married milkman lover completes the triangular cast. Grimm meets Rix at this point, as Dora (Amelda Brown) exclaims to Kevin (Garry Cooper) 'This is not what you think it is]' However, it is definitely the spirit of Grimm that wins through in these lightly handled opening scenes. Kevin instantly accepts the naked man as a swan. Only later do his doubts emerge, as Dora grows more attached to the swan/man, even giving him a name, Bill.
It is possible that Egloff doesn't intend the play to add up completely, for her story is, after all, 'poetic' and too tight a resolution of the play's premises would perhaps limit its resonance. Perhaps. It could also be argued that she simply sets herself narrative problems which she never quite solves. It is as Bill starts wooing Dora that Egloff appears to lose her imaginative nerve. Bill is by now very obviously a poetic symbol in the play's more serious argument and has a clear function - to release Dora's heart from the Plath-like deep freeze to which it has been consigned by her previous three marriages. Bill's red-blooded attentions stand in direct contrast to Kevin's domesticated therapy-led approach.
By the end one wishes Kevin would exclaim in good Ibsen style 'But swans just don't do things like that]' Middle America might be said to occupy a similar place in contemporary dramatic imagination to that of Scandinavia a hundred years ago. The difference is that in those days you got your symbolism as a main course, not as a side-order.
Continues at The Traverse to 18 April. Box office 031-226 2633
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Poldark star Heida Reed says show is not that racy: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
Historian: ‘Disney was right to show King John as a villain' in Robin Hood
Glastonbury 2015: Coldplay will not headline but Florence Welch might play, says Emily Eavis
Game of Thrones season 5 spoilers: What we can expect according to George RR Martin's books
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut