Trifles

Two very short one act plays, promoted under the title of the first and bar far the better one!

Trifles by Susan Gaspell is a little gem of a play that takes the form of a mystery. Five people come to a house. The men are there to investigate the murder of its owner, apparently by his wife, although she claims she woke and found him dead beside her. The two women come to collect things to be taken to her in jail. The women discuss the scene and the lives that were lived there, find the evidence of what really happened, conclude it was justified and conceal the evidence, without ever saying so. It is a masterpiece of pauses and silences where most information is conveyed by what is not said. It was interesting to find that Gaspell used these techniques before either Beckett or Pinter. 

The second short play was written by Eugene O’Neill, who wrote it for money and destroyed it. His judgement was good. The play is juvenile in feeling and the ending line suggests that he thought of the line ad wrote the play to be able to use it. 

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About cathyriggall

Theatre junkie, who thinks live theatre is the ultimate form of living on the edge. You never know what will happen when an actor steps on the stage.
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One Response to Trifles

  1. keithhpotter says:

    Gaspell’s “Trifles” was wonderful – like a well-written short story. A lot was implied, rather than said, which pulled you into the proceedings.

    The O’Neill was a waste of time; a pity there wasn’t another Gaspell.

    Staging, lighting and direction (Camellia Coo, Louise Guinand and Meg Roe) were all excellent and tied these two quite different pieces together nicely.

    The cast was also strong and put as much into it as if they were in the season’s major play on the Festival stage.

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