The deep thoughts provoked by Harold Pinter’s No Man’s Land began buzzing about the theater, as the lights faded ever so slowly to black. Applause rose and standing ovations were given as the audience paused to contemplate their experience, before exiting the Stephen Foster Memorial on Saturday night. The preview was prelude to discussions about life, success, aging, complacency and surrender.
No Man’s Land, presented by the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, gives a glimpse into the lives of 4 men. Hirst is an alcoholic and once successful writer who has met the acquaintance of a not so successful poet, spooner. Hirst, despite his success, has been sinking into an existence that can hardly be considered life. He is accompanied by two servants, Foster and Briggs who make no effort to save him from himself. Spooner desiring to rescue him for reasons that could be both selfish and selfless presents himself as a former acquaintance, fellow writer, and then as a willing friend. A strange web of memories, delusions, reality and fantasy ensues and the four men inevitably succumb to their existence "in no man's land. Which never moves, which never changes, which never grows older, but which remains forever icy and silent."
The performance was a journey that brought laughter and sympathy while making no attempt to answer the questions it raised, leaving a sense of solemn wonder. Rick McMillan as Spooner suspended suspicion in his motives yet empathy toward his lot in life. Sam Tsoutsouvas as Hirst easily evoked sadness and marvel at what he once was and what he had come to be. Their use of British accent and the honest portrayal of fear in body language that remained true to each character greatly complimented the story.
The complexity of such a play filled with themes that are perhaps not meant to be fully understood but indeed acknowledged, is no easy production. Yet this production of No Man’s Land is a well executed tale of a place between life and death, reality and pretense, memories and deceit.
FREELANCE WRITER * VOCALIST *SONG WRITER