Drunk Enough to Say I Love You?

0

Comments

Add +
COUCHED TERMS West, left, trades words with Cohen.

COUCHED TERMS West, left, trades words with Cohen. Photograph: Joan Marcus

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>2/5

In medieval England, villagers would stage elaborate amateur adaptations of biblical stories; each episode would be assigned to the appropriate guild (Noah and his ark would be handled by the carpenters, for example). These popular epics came to be known as Corpus Christi cycles, later categorized as mystery plays. Why the miniature history lesson?

In medieval England, villagers would stage elaborate amateur adaptations of biblical stories; each episode would be assigned to the appropriate guild (Noah and his ark would be handled by the carpenters, for example). These popular epics came to be known as Corpus Christi cycles, later categorized as mystery plays. Why the miniature history lesson? It's the only frame that can explain Caryl Churchill's allegorical scrap Drunk Enough to Say I Love You? This sketch anthropomorphizes the United States and Great Britain as two men navigating a love-hate relationship. It's a mystery play for the post--September 11 world.

In the Corpus Christi cycles, God appears in an elevated part of the stage. Here, the two geopolitical deities are seen lounging on a couch that floats several feet above the floor in complete darkness. When an actor finishes a cup of coffee or stubs out a cigarette, he drops the mug or ashtray off the edge and it falls soundlessly into the void. The pair's conversation begins as standard romantic-dramedy fare, then veers into explicit talk of Vietnam, bombing, torture and Guantnamo Bay. It's political allegory as exposed-brick decor.

James Macdonald staged this anti-imperialist broadside at London's Royal Court Theatre last year, and his current production is impeccable. Samuel West and Scott Cohen do admirable work with noncharacters, speaking a poeticized litany of factoids. You might enjoy this stylish stunt if you thrill to hear the crimes of 20th-century Anglo-American foreign policy recited by smug stick figures. Otherwise, your $50 is better spent on a subscription to The Nation or a donation to a worthy cause.

—David Cote

Public Theater. By Caryl Churchill. Dir. James Macdonald. With Samuel West, Scott Cohen. 45mins. No intermission.

Users say

0 comments