I commend Circa's play running till 1 December, The Tigers of Wrath. Seeing it with a daughter this evening stirred some powerful memories. I should have squirmed at the character of Pauline, since I was in the camp that thought going to the Great Wall, and shopping, were frivolous when I was in China for 6 weeks in 1976. But the play relationship tensions dwarfed the political tension, and mockery saved the play.
To me it was the best kind of skewering. Dean Parker recreates the self-important self-mutilation of my generation of left-wingers. But not with contempt. Instead this is a sympathetic shafting of hypocrisy and human weaknes from a saddened and more realistic continuing believer in the original faith. He can mock but not excoriate the pretension because he still wishes communismt would have worked out as it should, if only humans had been more worthy.
The acting, particularly of Heather O'Carroll as Pauline, and Kate Prior as Trish was so evocative that I cannot be sure whether the brilliance in the play was in Dean Parker's script, or more in Jane Waddell's direction and the outstanding acting.
To me the play is deadly in its capture of the dehumanizing influence of political passion, and weak in its depiction of the lawyer. Oliver's moral erosion and "feelings" were too predictable. The stereotypical left wing view of business made him interesting only as the foil for the women.