The Michigan Daily -.Friday, February 17, 1984 - Page 7
Stoppard with surprising skill
By Dave Kopel
LET ME COME to the point quickly.
Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's Macbeth
is 'one of the most perfectly performed
pieces I've seen in Ann Arbor. Each
character delivers each line just right.
At $3.50 a ticket, the show is a great
Dogg's Hamlet, the first of the one-
act plays, kept the audience in
hysterics. Several British schoolboys
(who speak a language called "Dogg")
put on a foreign language production of
Sbakespeare's Hamlet (in English).
While the schoolboys are building the
set for the performance, a deliveryman
arrives with a load of wood. The
deliveryman speaks English, the
schoolboys. speak Dogg, and neither
realizes that the other is speaking in a
The deliveryman doesn't understand
that when the schoolboys say "Useless,
git," they mean "Good day, sir." The
resulting confusion is hilarious. While
one needn't intellectualize to enjoy the
show, the play makes important points
about how often we think we're com-
municating when we're not, and about
low we may communicate even when
we don't intend to.
,The cast of Dogg's Hamlet is com-
posed of students from U of M's Theatre
M.F.A. program. Having worked
together for over a year and a half, they
give a very strong ensemble perfor-
m.lance. The play moves along precisely
iand energetically, climaxing with the
15-minute schoolboy performance of
Hamlet, followed by a side-splitting
two-minute encore "mini-Hamlet."
Timothy Grimm, as the befuddled
deliveryman, and Mary Jeffries, as the
Schoolmistress turn in especially
While Dogg's Hamlet filled the
theatre with laughter, Cahoot's Mac-
beth kept it solemnly quiet. Cahoot's
takes place in modern Prague, where
dissident actors (forbidden to perform
in public) are staging a production of
Macbeth for a living-room audience.
It is based on the true experiences of
Czechoslovakian playwright Pavel
Kohout, a victim of the Communist dic-
During the living-room performance
of Macbeth, an. inspector from the
secret police arrives. As the Inspector,
Brian O'Sullivan is the perfect
"cretinous fascist pig" - the agent of a
regime deathly afraid "to risk the in-
fection of an uncontrolled idea." The
Inspector's bullying, L and the
progression of the plot build the tension
for the play's bizarre climax, which is
Tom Stoppard at his best.
The characters in Cahoot's Macbeth
are much deeper and more human than
those in Dogg's Hamlet. As each actor
from Dogg's also plays a role in
Cahoot's, the audience can only admire
the cast's versatility.
For an evening of fun, fine acting,
and linguistic theory, one can't go
wrong with Dogg's Hamlet, Cahoot's
Macbeth. Performances at the New
Trueblood Theatre begin at 8:00 p.m.
through Feb. 18, and at 2:00 p.m. on
Tim Hooper and Brian Sullivan entertain in Tom Stoppard's Dogg's Hamlet,
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(Continued from Page6)
although a bit histrionic, as the man
suspected of murder by everyone, in-
cluding his lover.
At the heart of' the film, is Robert
Walker's beautifully diabolical perfor-
mance as Bruno Antony, one of Hitch-
cock's most memorable villains. Bruno
wears garish flashy shoes and a lurid
tie with lobsters and his name stamped
all over it. "I wear it for my mother,"
Bfuno tells Guy with perverse pleasure.
Bruno is a character only Walker could'
bring to life. Frequently cast as a bland
dummy, Walker made Bruno the per-
formance of his career, a hideous mix-
ture of evil and perversion balanced by
a sick sense of humor.
The film is laced with striking images
and scenes which remain in one's
nIemory. There's a great shot from
GUy's point of view, at a grandstand of
people watching a tennis match. All the
heads move as the ball bounces from
one end of the court to the other, all ex-
cept Bruno's, whose motionless gaze
remains fixed towards Guy.
When Bruno murders Miriam on an
island next to an amusement park, the
crime is, recorded in the reflection
from a pair of glasses. The whole
scene is underscored with "And The
Band Played On," an ironically haun-
ting tune when juxtaposed against the
Strangers On A Train is a great film
because it's so fun. It's exciting, very
funny, and has flashes of genius which
make it a minor masterpiece. All imper-
fections and inconsistencies aside,
Strangers is Hitchcock at his best, and
Robert Walker's Bruno Antony is worth
the price of two admissions.
The film is. showing Wednesday,
February 22, at 7:10 at the Michigan
Theater and is also being shown by
Cinema 2 on the following Saturday at
7:00 in Auditorium A, Angel Hall.
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