1. Scarlett O'Hara at the Crimson Parrot, new David Williamson play opening next week at the MTC, is absolutely worth walking out of in the interval. It is also more than worth walking out of during the show. It is worth the embarrassment of getting up mid-row, the awkwardness of stepping on senior citizens' feet, of disturbing the performance, of causing grunts and complaints, of stumbling out in the dark, of disdainful looks you'll attract.
2. Scarlett O'Hara plays out like a text written by a computer program: fed Australian newspapers on one given day, regurgitating the content into themes, motifs, characters, motivations, dialogue. The glitches and retakes of the preview performance were the only moments to enjoy – I pity the audience that won't have that relief – because they had soul.
3. The play could instead be called seven characters looking for authorly love. Not to mention mutual respect. As they are, abandoned on stage in a puddle of psychological dead-ends, semi-devised motivations, right turns visible miles ahead, and plotlines with validity set to expire in 2009, they come across as theatrical cripples, interesting more as a self-unaware society reflected in the broken mirror of the unconscious, regurgitating computer program mentioned above, than any attempt at lite forgivemelord comedy.
4. There are shards that one can see something in, of course: the relationship between Scarlett and her mother is such a clearly dysfunctional, de-framed, re-framed, translated and costumed relationship between a mother and a bruised, withdrawn yet raging, homicidal son. One may, you see, think a thought or two within these two hours. But is it worth the time of our senior citizens? Their money?
5. It is not mine to come up with reasons why such an embarrassment is what most ordinary people in this city seem to consider the only relevant theatre. But it breaks my heart, over and over again.