REVIEW: GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS (Milton Keynes Theatre) ★★

The world of selling is a brutal one. It’s fast-paced and competitive. Not everyone is cut out for it.

In Glengarry Glen Ross, salesmen of the 1980’s come under the microscope. Each month the top salesman wins a Cadillac. But the boss has a new idea… if you’re not in the top three? You’re out. So the salesmen at this company decide to take matters into their own hands…

When the curtain rises on Act I the set (designed by Chiara Stephenson) really is incredible. A highly detailed Chinese restaurant, complete with lanterns, fully stocked bar and high ceiling.

But why?

There is nobody else in the restaurant and the first two ‘pairs’ that come on stage don’t even have a drink in front of them. And the majority of the stage isn’t even used. It’s unrealistic, unnecessary and confusing.

As is the dialogue. It’s very fast and very crude. As the characters are salesmen this is to be expected, but the act (which is only 33mins long) would’ve been much shorter had the swearing been reduced by a mere 50%!

Stephenson’s set for Act II is even more impressive: an office full of furniture, papers, files etc. looking a little worse for wear, following the burglary. The detail is exceptional.

The storyline here is much clearer, as the story starts to unfold. It’s still fast-paced but words are clearer and the humour is a bit more evident.

Acting is strong; most of the actors embody their characters really well (despite a few dodgy accents) and the whole concept of the storyline is very believable. However, some of the lines sound under-rehearsed as the ‘overlap’ of words in Act I is stilted and the actors don’t seem able to cut each other off correctly.

Unfortunately, the rushed, confusing start and the abrupt ending outweigh the good points of this show and overall, it’s a letdown.

Reviewed by Michaela Clement-Hayes


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