Glengarry Glen Ross

Directed by Roger Kay, Glengarry Glen Ross depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen who have been supplied with the names and phone numbers of some new leads. They use underhanded and dubious tactics to make sales, in particular to peddle the two real estate developments of Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms. From this, begins a whirlwind of devious tactics and fake fraternities.

Tragedy and comedy intertwine magically in this performance from Pretty Villain Productions

The play opens with the stage adorned by three tables, a dastardly pair sat at each one. Taking turns to plan out how to dupe the others, the light focuses on only one pair at a time, representing how those in darkness are completely unaware of the deceit occurring elsewhere. The entire stage is completely lit after the first scene and foreshadows that the true essence of all the characters will be revealed at the play's resolution.

Underlying this play's events are perpetual splays of hyper-masculinity. Examples of these can be found in the homophobic term “cocksucker” being used regularly, as well as the sexism shown towards the barmaid in the opening scene; if not lecherous, the men are dismissive of her.

The supposedly weak link in the chain is John Williamson, played by Duncan Henderson, who is responsible for supplying the leads on the properties. He finally comes up trumps; however, he subsequently acts as the catalyst for the determined estate agent, Shelly Levene's arrest. This is the result of Levene's greed in taking the money from Williamson's leads on the sale of properties.

Steve Chusak's suave characterisation of Ricky Roma makes it entirely believable that he would be the most lucrative agent. However, all good things must come to an end as Williamson, yet again, is responsible for one of the top dogs losing out and a cheque cashed in too early results in Roma being down several grand. As the arrogance that Roma once had is suddenly lost, it makes his downfall all the more satisfying for the audience to observe.

The importance attached to money within this production is representative of a capitalist structure and all the ideologies that accompany it. With such a structure relying on the ruthlessness of human beings, this behaviour is clearly and cleverly epitomised in Glengarry Glen Ross. It’s to such an extent that it appears dismaying at times but thanks to resourceful writing, it is proved rather hilarious at others.

Tragedy and comedy intertwine magically in this performance from Pretty Villain Productions. The dark humour that is so emblematic of this play is affirmed in hapless agent George Aaronow's closing statement that he hates this job. His pessimistic retorts however, are no match for the amount of joy such a well written, well performed show brings to its audiences.

Reviews by Oliver Lugg

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Prize-winning David Mamet play depicts the actions, ruthlessness and desperation of Chicago estate agents, who engage in unethical, illegal acts, selling undesirable property to hapless prospective buyers, taking bribes and stealing leads. 2014 and 2015 Brighton Fringe award-winners.