Theater Review: Pillars of the Community

4 Feb

Lyttelton Theater
Henrik Ibsen’s “Pillars of the Community”
In a new version by Samuel Adamson

PLOT: Calamity strikes when Bernick’s (Damian Lewis) business prowess and pristine reputation are threatened by the revelation of a long-buried secret. Desperate to dodge exposure in the kowtowing local community, Bernick devises a pitiless plan which, by a shocking twist of fate, risks the one life he holds dear.

This is my first Ibsen play, my second with Damian as part of the cast. I saw him in Five Gold Rings at the Almeida in 2004 upon the prodding of my sister gypsy. I am familiar with Mr. Lewis’ work after seeing him in several tv-movies like The Forsyte Saga, Colditz, and briefly on Band of Brothers.

Let’s get the play and the performance out of the way. “Pillars of the Community” is magnificent. Now that guy Henrik Ibsen, certainly knew how to write. Understatement. It’s tragic and comic and sentimental and moral and Damian is amoral and immoral and hysterical and. Immortal. Damian’s performance as Karsten Bernick was pitch perfect. Even his walk is contrived and calculated. Karsten is not a lovable man to begin with. Like his brilliant performance in Five Gold Rings which I taught was flawless, the same applies here. The enunciation, the expression, the tears, the manipulations, the machinations, the scheming, everything. Even in his confession and reach to redemption he left a huge door open for more hidden agendas. Horrible man. Forgiveness as a means to an end. Not a lovable man, even at the end. He was basically irredeemable and that was kinda sad but still kinda cool.

To make the evening much more perfect than it already is, we went back stage to hopefully meet him, and of course we did, Gypsy was just sure of it. I took photos of him and Gypsy and I think I mentioned something that was more of a rambling. Ahhhhh…I remember doing this with my sister when I was 17, I am 35 now and I am still doing it, nobody does it better. I guess I just keep getting better and better eh?

Pillars of the Community: 5/5

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7 Responses to “Theater Review: Pillars of the Community”

  1. Pedro February 21, 2006 at 11:49 pm #

    Heh, what´s next? A Pinter play?

    Anyway, this Damien (sounds like Satan in “The Profecy”) was terrific in Band of Brothers.

  2. Monette February 22, 2006 at 3:08 pm #

    And one for Mahler’s too eh Peter? LOL

  3. Sheila February 23, 2006 at 10:08 pm #

    this damian guy deserves mroe recognition. he has to be one of the bestest actors of his generation. he’s got amazing range and quite good with accents too.

    i saw him in friends and crocodiles last night and he’s absolutely delicious there also.

  4. Monette February 24, 2006 at 2:46 pm #

    I’ll keep an eye on Keane.

  5. Pedro February 24, 2006 at 3:49 pm #

    All of us deserve more recognition. And we get none.

  6. Monette February 24, 2006 at 5:25 pm #

    Here Pedro, take my handkerchief, and wipe your tears. LOL

  7. Simone November 28, 2006 at 2:34 pm #

    Marianne Elliot won as Best Director in the just concluded Evening Standard awards.

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