Last weekend Llangollen’s Twenty Club put on a production of The Glass Menagerie, the famous play about a family suffering from crushed dreams in the 1930′s depression.
This was the first time I’d seen Tennessee Williams’s semi-autobiographical play, generally acknowledged as a classic, and I was left scratching my head as to how it’s become so well thought of. Despite some strong performances – particularly from Morgan Thomas, a commanding presence as Tom, the character based on Williams himself – it’s a play about four dreary characters who grow irritating almost immediately. It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want to spend five minutes with this family, and a play of around two hours pushed my tolerance right to its limits.
A friend of mine, who attended the performance with me, summarised the play as being “the world’s longest and most boring episode of Keeping Up Appearances”, and it’s hard to argue with this. It’s too repetitive to be enjoyable and I ended up trying to decide how on earth I could be impressed by all four individual performances but still have thought the play to be poor.
It wasn’t all bad – as mentioned, the performers did what they could with a dreadful script, and as ever with the Twenty Club, the sets and costumes looked excellent – but it was a far cry from their excellent last show, a hilarious adaptation of TV classic Fawlty Towers. I’ll hope to be much more entertained by their next production later this year!