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anonymous asked:

You write reviews and do it really well AND you've seen Streetcar. What do you think of the (few) negative reviews? I don't remember if the UK press loved it unanimously but it seemed like they did and she was nominated/won major awards. NYT and THR among and Variety seemed to love her work too, but the negative ones are really mean!

Thank you! I’m actually not a reviewer, but I appreciate that. I think Tennessee Williams is a playwright who inspires a certain amount of nostalgic devotion–if you talked about one of his plays in a class or saw a production at an impressionable time or studied it extensively on your own, you might get attached to that interpretation of it. He makes reviewers into English lit professors, basically. And then it becomes about the *script* and the *vision* and how well the production *does them justice.* I’m not sure there’s a wrong way to approach theater (and I think it’s telling that even the very small handful of less-than-stellar reviews are impressed by Gillian’s performance; that’s not where they take issue), but I do think that being entirely text-focused sometimes makes people less open to the full experience of the show. Personally, I love the way this production strips down the script; I understand Gillian’s Blanche in a way I’ve never understood Blanche before, and I think the way the show seems almost to be set out of time is part of what makes it such an interesting character study. But even if I didn’t feel that way, I’d hope that a reviewer would be able to take the show as it presents itself. It shouldn’t be about how well the production executes the vision you’re most attached to; it should be about how well it executes its own vision.

That feeling when you’re intently watching Gillian Anderson perform on stage and then you notice a Duchovny-esque figure on the opposite side of the theater in the audience and you think you’re seeing a mirage because this is too good to be true… but it’s real.