Sunday, 13 May 2007

Review: Terre Haute

As I'm recommending Terre Haute at the Trafalgar Studio, I looked up my short revew from when I saw the production in Edinburgh last year.

By the way, my archive can be seen at: http://www.theatreguys.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/webdraft_000057.htm

''A terrific new play, Terre Haute, by Edmund White (noted as the USA’s foremost gay writer) about the Okalahoma City Bomber closed my fringe festival. White has taken the real relationship between urbane novelist Gore Vidal and hick bomber Timothy McVeigh as the inspiration for a fictional meeting between the two men (albeit with a change of name) in death row in the run up to the execution. In real life Vidal had a very controversial sympathy with the anti federal message of McVeigh, although he condemned the bombing. The two corresponded, and Vidal was even due to attend the execution, but ill health prevented the two ever meeting. White uses this as an opportunity to discuss the rights and wrongs of the US Government, her Empire, and the freedom of her citizens (McVeigh believing that he had ‘watered the tree of liberty with blood’). The extraordinary differences between these two men with their evident bond are fascinating, clearly the Vidal character has a sexual fascination with this young man, and for his part the bomber uses his intriguing sexuality to influence the elderly writer. A relevant and beautifully written play''. Aug 2006

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