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Swithin

The Inheritance, a seven-hour American gay-themed play, transfers to the West End

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I have now seen both parts of Matthew Lopez's astonishing new play The Inheritance, which is receiving its world premiere at the Young Vic in London. The play deals with a generation of contemporary young gay men, coming to terms with their own lives ca. 2016/17 and the lives of those who lived and died during the 1980s. I've rarely been moved by a play the way this two-part, seven-hour play moved me.

The British and American cast includes some wonderful young actors as well as John Benjamin Hickey, and, in Act III of Part II, Vanessa Redgrave.

Watch for it -- it will surely come to the States! I guess you could say it's the grandchild of Angels in America and Love, Valour, Compassion; and much more. It is also loosely based on Howards End; in fact, E.M. Forster is a character.

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https://www.youngvic.org/whats-on/the-inheritance?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIhJvGjcf-2QIVCZztCh0SCQ3_EAAYASAAEgKocPD_BwE

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/gallery/2018/mar/19/vanessa-redgrave-the-inheritance-matthew-lopez-young-vic-theatre-london-in-pictures

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This sounds amazing. In a way it's a comment on American theater as an institution that such an obviously major work is being premiered abroad. I'm a fan of storytelling which takes its time and the Forster angle really intrigues me. I'm not in touch the way you are so this came out of the blue to me and I'm grateful you included the links for more info. It's such a comfort that new queer voices keep appearing generation after generation.

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I like the idea of one reviewer that the story could have taken the form of a novel or a mini-series, but that it's so singular as a play that it's beside the point. There are some experiences you can have best in a theater and this seems to be one of them. It's an experience I doubt I'll have, but perhaps someone will see fit to go the mini-series route after all. But even without having seen it, it's heartening that this is out there and getting this kind of appreciation.  

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11 hours ago, rayban said:

Will it be coming to New York City?

I'm sure it will, but I don't know about any specific plans. I wonder where they will put it. The Young Vic setting seemed ideal.

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Here's the five-star review (I've excerpted a quote) from Gay Times, Britains best-known gay publication. One thing I find interesting is that, although almost all of the critics have cited a connection to Angels in America; none has mentioned a connection to Terrence McNally's Love! Valor! Compassion!, which I think is evident. I think it's probably not well known in the UK.

http://www.gaytimes.co.uk/culture/102704/the-inheritance-an-extraordinary-and-astonishing-look-at-gay-lives-review/

"Comparisons to Angels In America are inevitable, but I’d venture to say that while lower on spectacle The Inheritance is vaster in its emotional scope. It covers the whole gamut of gay men’s lives from bathhouses to marriage equality and adoption, questioning the co-option of our community into a mainstream that may be robbing us of our specialness, remembering battles fought that should never be forgotten and highlighting lessons that different generations should learn from each other.

If all seven hours were just a slog through trauma and tragedy it’d be impossible to sit through, but Lopez has fashioned a kaleidoscopic piece that’s witty and ****y and funny and sad and consciousness-raising and thought-provoking, luxuriating in its length to tell a story about all facets of gay life. It’s altogether extraordinary."

(Btw, there were a few negative reviews: The Financial Times, Time Out London, and the Hollywood Reporter. You can search those if you're interested in reading them.)

 

 

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What is the advantage of having it done by The Young Vic?

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6 hours ago, rayban said:

What is the advantage of having it done by The Young Vic

I think there are probably a number of reasons to premiere at the Young Vic, which is a famous and respected British fringe theater. Certainly the director was a factor for starting in London: Stephen Daldry began his career in the UK provinces and reached great heights of directorial fame in London. London is very friendly to new theater and gay theater, and it's a good place for things to start. (The Inheritance did have some readings in the U.S.) Economics makes London -- particularly the fringe -- a good place as well. And as Nathan Lane said to an audience during a conversation related to his appearance in the revival of Angels in America at London's National Theatre, "Theatre is in your DNA here. It's not like that in America."  He's right -- that just makes it easier to try things there.

Although Angels in America had its original production in San Francisco, it was presented at the National Theatre in London in 1992, before it reached Broadway the following year. The revival of Angels currently on Broadway also transferred from the National, where it began last Spring. So these major plays (some with gay themes) do benefit from the jolt they get in London. The current revival of Angels on Broadway includes pretty much the whole London cast (including Nathan Lane), although sadly Russell Tovey couldn't come. Since The Inheritance is even more a British-American cast, perhaps most of them will come over. (Actually, several of the leads are American.)

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Thanks so much, you are the best!

I'd like to send my trilogy about abuse in the Catholic Church to them.

The plays are related thematically, but the characters are different.

How would you suggest that I go about it?

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12 hours ago, rayban said:

Thanks so much, you are the best!

I'd like to send my trilogy about abuse in the Catholic Church to them.

The plays are related thematically, but the characters are different.

How would you suggest that I go about it?

I have no idea, but don't send it to Jacob Rees-Mogg. He's a politician who thinks the Church can do no wrong.

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On 3/31/2018 at 8:09 AM, Swithin said:

I have no idea, but don't send it to Jacob Rees-Mogg. He's a politician who thinks the Church can do no wrong.

Thank you, I sent a letter of inquiry to Kwame Kwei-Armah, the artistic director.

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1 hour ago, rayban said:

Thank you, I sent a letter of inquiry to Kwame Kwei-Armah, the artistic director.

Their next production is Fun Home, so they seem to be into American Queer at the moment.

 

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The Inheritance, which I saw in March at the Young Vic, has transferred to the West End.  It opened a few days ago. Here are a couple of the reviews from the re-opened production, at the Noël Coward Theatre:

"Stop the clocks; the race is won. Here is the play of this year and last year and quite possibly next year as well. 

Matthew Lopez's two-part, seven-hour epic takes EM Forster’s classic 1910 novel Howards End and transposes its ever-relevant themes of wealth, family and belonging to the lives and loves of a group of busy, chattering, cultured gay men in New York in the 21st century. This is a work of rare grace, truth and beauty and is undoubtedly this century’s answer to Angels in America — and then some."

https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/theatre/the-inheritance-noel-coward-review-a3961826.html

 

"It's as beautiful as it is harrowing, as searingly sad as it is rambunctiously funny, as intellectually rigorous as it is joyously accessible, and as thrillingly entertaining as it is deadly serious."

https://www.whatsonstage.com/london-theatre/reviews/the-inheritance-noel-coward-theatre-west-end_47807.html

the-west-end-cast-of-the-inheritance-128

 

 

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11 hours ago, Swithin said:

Sorry, I haven't looked in here for a while. Have you read it yet? The playwright, Matthew Lopez, won the Evening Standard Award for Best Play.

https://www.standard.co.uk/go/london/theatre/the-inheritance-evening-standard-theatre-awards-best-play-a3993296.html

 

Yes, I read it.

I was very moved by it.

Is the play presented in its' entirety in one day?

Or can you see it in two or more days?

I can't wait for the Broadway presentation.

It will be a "sensation".

 

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In London, you can see it on two separate days, or occasionally one day, when they perform both parts, as matinee and evening.

 

 

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