The Arts

Oleanna

Oleanna featured image

Reviewed by Paula Citron

Oleanna
Soulpepper
Written by David Mamet
Directed by Laszlo Marton
Performed by Diego Matamoros and Sarah Wilson
Young Centre
Jan. 29 to Mar. 4, 2011

David Mamet’s Oleanna caused a lot of controversy when it debuted in 1992. The topic is a sexual harassment case at a university between a professor and a failing female student. The play also shows that political correctness is perilous in terms of fault lines. The title is satiric, as Oleanna was a failed utopian society.

Diego Matamoros, as the professor is wonderful. The arc of his character’s journey is crystal clear. The one problem is that director Laszlo Marton has directed him as if he has ants in his pants, always on the move. Physically, he’s just too frenetic.

As for Sarah Wilson as Carol, in the play’s three scenes, her changes of character seem to come out of nowhere. There is no organic growth. She talks the talk, but doesn’t walk it.

I find Marton a troubling director. Things are either over-done, or lacking clear detail. Only playwright Mamet comes out a clear winner.

Oleanna continues at the Young Centre until Mar. 4.

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