Plenty was rather confusing to me. In reading some reviews of the piece I gather that it was very moving upon watching, however solely in reading it I think something was lost. The play jumps around in time quite a bit and can be rather mysterious as to what's going on. Part of that is due to the fact that our main character, Susan is employed secretly by the French Resistance behind German lines during the war, so the nature of her work was clandestine.
I wasn't crazy about this play but I do love David Hare. The first play of his that I read was Racing Demon, in college, and I loved it. I would highly recommend it. His writing, as always, is beautiful and there were some lines that grabbed me.
Did you know... did you know sound waves never die? So every noise we make goes into the sky. And there is a place somewhere in the corner of the universe where all the babble of the world is kept.I love the thought that somewhere are stored all the stolen moments and secret gossip and heartfelt fights. A reminder that words are powerful and you should choose them carefully and stand by them if in fact you were forced to hear them again.
Susan's friend, Alice is a bohemian spirit, unafraid of new things. She explains her lifestyle to Susan:
The writer must experience everything, every kind of degradation. Nothing is closed to him. It's really the degradation that attracted me to the job.A little wink from Hare to other writers?
Lastly, I appreciated this little jab from another character in the play:
Say no more. We have eaten. We did not wait. In Burma we say if you cannot be on time do not come at all.Well said, sir. Well said.
Tomorrow's "Play": Notes on Directing by Frank Hauser and Russell Reich