Review: Waiting for Lefty, online via Zoom
A dally from 1935: what might you expect? A fleck of sparkling Noel Coward perhaps? Well, you’d be well off the mark with that now. Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets is a political theatre, written down the wrong side of the Great Depression and are available in the USA. It deals with the lives of ordinary people who are being crushed by the social pressures insidiously imposed against them, gradually diminishing their self-worth and humanity. The dally considers the role of the union, and how coming together in solidarity is the only way to have any strength against behemoth …
An clever, enthusiastic production, aggressively introduced and absolutely stupefying in its contemporary relevance. This show challenges reactions and proposals solidarity.
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A play from 1935: what might you expect? A fleck of shining Noel Coward perhaps? Well, you’d be well off the mark with that here. Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets is a political drama, written on the wrong side of the Great Depression and are available in the USA. It deals with the lives of ordinary people who are being crushed by the social pressures insidiously imposed against them, gradually increasing their self-worth and humanity. The romp considers the role of the union, and how coming together in solidarity is the only way to have any strength against behemoth industries and state gaslighting. More than that, it considers the role of the individual; their struggles and how to work together for an improved society.
From the start, the aesthetic of this show is captivating. The flawless implementation of age music and video describes us quickly in to a space where we’re connected with the past, yet solidly in our present. It’s still staggering, however, the extent to which the issues of the past introduced so clearly correspond with those of today in the UK, particularly as social vulnerabilities are starkly highlighted in this pandemic. Taxi motorists unable to earn a living wage, the expendability of healthcare workers, big business running hospices, undernourished children, racism, gender inequality- these are all themes in the 2021 information on a daily basis. How do we as individuals feel about it, and what can we do together to make change?
The sharp casting of performers represent diverse genders, races and senilities, which speaks to the intersectionality of the issues being addressed. This is not just a political ranting, the characters we satisfy are very human, susceptible characters. As Florrie and Sid dance, they literally cling to each other, and the last fragments of their quality of life. Yet working class narratives are balanced by others, such as that of Dr Benjamin, health professionals heartbreakingly expelled from his hard-won position because of racism and nepotism. The message here? You don’t believe it’s happening until it happens to you. Individual integrity and strength is then the first step to change. Union leader Lefty may be the headline act, but it’s eventually in the collective actions of society that justice will come.
The Zoom format works incredibly well for this production. Not only has director Phil Cheadle exerted a whole variety of camera tilts to add interest and shunned those tedious face-on headshots, but the choice of delivery really speaks to the egalitarian nature of the contents. Filmed live from eight different locations, the cloud-based conferencing app stands Odet’s story of collaboration to connect an intersectional audience that could be anywhere in the world, attesting enormous alternative and a world-wide communication. It’s not thoroughly without its setbacks, but the liveness draws an extra urgency as the drama undoes, particularly in the final times. It’s clear how this would be highly exhilarating in an onstage production.
The post-show discussion is a valuable investigation of the topics, and I would definitely recommend abiding on for it. This evening brought together panellists Alex Andreou( actor and political commentator ), James Farrar( ADCU General Sec) and Danisha Kazi( Positive Money) to discuss issues such as algorithmic social restraint, fairer banking institutions, and the responsibilities of the individual in a consumerist society.
There’s so much to think about here, presented in an effective, entertaining format, but never ceasing to offer affirmation through the portrayal of human positivity. Don’t wait for Lefty- buy air tickets today!
Written by: Clifford OdetsDirected by: Phil CheadleDesigned by: Simon KennySound Design by: Joss Holden-ReaTechnical by: East Municipal FilmsAssociate Produced by: Tim DelapProduced by: Two Wrinkles Productions
Waiting For Lefty is playing each evening at 8p m until Sunday 23 May. The show is live via Zoom. Further information and booking items via the below link.
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