French playwright Yasmina Reza’s play ‘Art, which opened in Paris in 1994, is considered a modern classic.
In ART, Serge has gone out and bought a modern work of art for $200, 000. The thing is that the canvas is simply filled with paint with white lines through it. Serge is content with his purchase except for not being able to make up his mind where he should display it in his flat.
And there’s just another thing, his best friend Marc is giving him a hard time about the purchase. Marc can’t believe that he has spent so much money on something he considers is a worthless painting. Marc then involves Yvan, the other close friend in the group, in what becomes a great debate about the painting.
Reza’s play is a bit of a revelation. Why? Because with her artistry, such a simple idea becomes such thought provoking theatre.
The play conjurs up a plethora of debates-the value of modern art…the superficiality of bourgeois society. Its main subject and theme is friendship. The blowtorch is well and truly set to it. How honest are our communications with our friends…how conditional are our friendships really…and how tied up with conventional expectations are they?!
Structurally ART builds’ beautifully. The play starts off at a bit of a canter but it gathers pace and features an eloquent ending.
The current Ensemble production does justice to Reza’s pearl of a play. Sandra Bates’s direction is respectful and tight, and the performances are accomplished and confident,
Daniel Mitchell as Marc, Mark Kilmurry as Serge, and Brian Meegan plays Yvan. John House’s simple design with the one set to ‘cover’ the living rooms of the three flats was effective.
Martin Kinnane’s lighting design was great and an important feature of the play.