Last week I went to a play at the Canadian Stage, Berkeley Street but I waited till I hit R to review it.
Heisenberg* is a recent play by Simon Stephens, the prolific British playwright who won the Olivier and Tony Awards last year for best new play, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. This play (The Dog) opened at New York's Manhattan Theatre Club in 2015 and transferred to Broadway in 2016. Wow. So, he's hot.
I didn't find it so hot.
"Simon Stephens writes about the improbable with disturbing accuracy, bringing to the stage the impossibilities each of us might possibly encounter daily in our lives, or of which if we stick to absolute logic and deny them access, we are most sadly deprived. He makes the impossible possible, the improbable necessary and it all has to do with love." (from the program notes by Matthew Jocelyn, artistic director of Canadian Stage and the director of this play.)
It struck me as a young man's wet dream. Also an old man's.
Performing beautifully on an intriguing, useful, sparse set, on a revolving stage so the actors can be seen, and with set-in flat corner boxes containing necessary props or changes, the lead of this two-hander (Carly Street), Georgie, is looking for her son who is gone - where? She picks up an older man, Alex (played by veteran actor David Schurman, as loveable as ever), and involves him in her search.
"And it all has to do with love"? Or sex?
Same thing. Older men can't get along without it. (Roger Angel, in his wonderful essay "'This Old Man", in his nineties and ill and disabled in many ways to do with age, still states - not confesses, because to him it is still a fact of life - that he misses venery.
venery noun [ mass noun ] archaic: sexual indulgence. not a few of them engaged in venery. ORIGIN late Middle English: from medieval Latin veneria, from venus, vener- ‘sexual love’.
I guess women take it out on grand -and great-grandchildren and small dogs or cats. I have a stuffed teddy bear.
Back to the play. Georgie gets off some good comments, like thoughts from an articulate essay - a temptation I notice, among current playwrights, when they are not indulging in loong monologues.
Well, it was an enjoyable afternoon, not so sure it was worth $83.00.
*"In the 1920s, German scientist Werner Karl Heisenberg developed what became known as "The Uncertainty Principle". according to which, in lay terms, it is impossible at any given moment to know both the position (or nature) of an object and its momentum, or direction." (from the program notes). Before I read that I thought Heisenberg was a German train station. Just shows how much smarter than I is Simon Stephens.