Monday, March 8, 2010

Looking Forward to: Art, the Play, at Canstage Theatre

One thing I'm looking forward to in the next few weeks is going to the theatre—not usually my thing, but this time it's for a theatre piece about art. The play is called (what else?) "Art" and it is a 1995 piece by award-winning playwright Yasmina Reza.

Here's the description from Canstage, which is mounting the play from March 15 to April 10:

The play revolves around the purchase of a very expensive, white-on-white painting which pushes the boundaries of art and ignites a passionate debate among three friends. Gruff battleaxe Marc, highly-strung appeaser Yvan and burgeoning art aficionado Serge come to a head over artistic merit, modernism and the value of friendship, testing the men's relationship and ultimately offering reconciliation.

The play won Reza a Moliere Award in 1995, but it wasn't without controversy, as Independent critic David Benedict noted:

Not everyone has hollered [the play's] praises in so unequivocal a fashion. The Guardian asserted that Reza's anti-art arguments pandered to popular prejudice. "The real test is whether the play encourages audiences to embrace modern art or reject it." Perhaps Michael Billington was unnerved, as I was, by the braying first night crowd. Finney's implacable response to the canvas - "It's shit" - was met with delight by an audience giving vent to their closet philistinism. The play's discussions are funny and fascinating but there were times when I began to sense what it was like being at Nuremburg, as Courtenay's attempts to justify "art" were met with belly laughs.

Sounds interesting!

Image of playwright Yasmina Reza with a poster from a previous production of the play from Persian Mirror


Anonymous said...

Could you please tell me the last line of this play "Art" or tell me how I can find out the last line.
When I saw the play many years ago, i remember that the last line was significant, but I forgot to write it down. i would appreciate your help.

Leah Sandals said...

Hey Anonymous... hmmmm can't help you there. You may want to check out the library... they might have a copy of the script.