I enjoyed spending time at The Cut last August, while trying to win tickets for Streetcar Named Desire at the Young Vic lottery. The food also is great and I was having grilled free-range chicken with avocado when my number was called for the matinee. I had tried two days before, in the evening, with no luck but interesting drinks.
It was a minimalistic Streetcar, with The Young Vic’s circular space containing a rectangular revolving stage, the skeleton of the Kowalski apartment, the rooms made transparent to the gaze of public.
It was cruel because Blanche’s mind kept spinning and her body alike and she had no place to hide, not in the corner of the kitchen, where we could see her drinking, not in the bathroom, where we could see her in the tub, not on her cot, where we could see all of her cheap dresses and accessories. Sometimes the action happened a little far away, and the characters had their backs turned, but sometimes you were just inches from Blanche’s huge eyes and you could listen her distinctive inflection making things to your eardrum.
Yes my lottery seats were great seats indeed.
It was strange to watch the Kowalski apartment devoid of clutter and with no sign of visual decadence, Stella and Blanche so skinny, everything so sharp without the steamy atmosphere of New Orleans, but it all added to the naked suffering.
In the end, after three hours, the stage spinning and spinning, Blanche spiraling into delirium, Gillian Anderson was in tears and so was the public.
And it was only the matinee!
At that point she had just a couple of hours to recompose herself into Southern Belle Blanche just arrived with a streetcar named Desire, to start it all over again.