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Across Oka (Methuen New Theatrescript) by…

Across Oka (Methuen New Theatrescript)

by Robert Holman

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Many years ago, I was the Swedish representative at a summer residency for young writers at the Royal Court Theatre in London. Everybody there got a “writer’s writer”, a sort of buddy to talk to and learn more about British theatre. Most of us got writers more or less from our own generation, but I got paired with Robert Holman, a tiny, cig-smelling, foul-mouthed Yorkshire man my mom’s age. But Mr. Holman was actually very nice in a grumpy kind of way, and we had some good times. I bought some of his plays then. I’ve read and enjoyed most of them, but this one has lingered unread on my Drama shelf for close to ten years.

“Across Oka” is a typical Holman play, dealing with the tension between generations and classes within a family, in a subtle, almost gentle way. Here a teenage boy gets a chance to fulfill his grandpa’s dream – going to the Soviet Union. But he’s full of rage and tension (very very subtly hinted at throughout the play) and ends up taking his revenge in a completely misdirected manner, to his own horror.

This meticulous, acting-focused type of drama – very English - is not my cup of tea really. But Holman is very good at it, and has a flavor of his own: held back, simple and downplayed. As pure reading material, this floats my boat okay, but doesn’t make me do cartwheels. I’d like to see a play of his staged some day. ( )
  GingerbreadMan | Jul 29, 2012 |
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A Methuen New Theatrescript

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