Friday 4 December 2009
Inherit the wind
'He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart'
I ‘sat’ high up in the Old Vic to see Inherit the Wind last night- as high as the chandelier- I could see the whole theatre and most of the stage if I stood up and lent over a rail.
You would think the restricted view would be incredibly frustrating but after a while it won me over.
Standing to see something makes you concentrate more doesn’t it? and when I think about it I would never choose to sit down at a gig- even at the monstrous 02- and not every gig I go to involves a hoedown (although happily very many do) so why would theatre be different?
Inherit the Wind was worth standing up for- and so surprisingly thought provoking for an older piece about the bible and the origin of species. Kevin Spacey was wonderful- I’m not sure he knows how to disappoint in the theatre. The silent scene at the end when he puts both books together and clasps them tightly in his hands is extremely moving, although he plays it with a lightness of touch and step. In another life he would have been a travelling player, gracing a thousand stages.
The play is directed by Trevor Nunn who takes the opportunity to insert some great country music asides which I think help the first half which is heavy on exposition. It was the second part, the tight court room drama, that I became more and more involved in. Standing high up in a dark, hushed theatre I was happily reminded of my precious freedom to think whatever I want and to clasp it tightly.