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Left - Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy


Richard Nelson

Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy

4m, 4f

ISBN: 9780881452860

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Full Length Play

Dramatic Comedy

 “You can't watch [LEFT] without thinking about Lillian Hellman, Mary McCarthy, and Diana Trilling. Richard Nelson...hasn't brought the famous, undignified Hellman/McCarthy/Trilling feud directly onstage, but he invokes their noisy ghosts. They resonate. It's uncanny.   Imagine I'M NOT RAPPAPORT with Simon Gray's wit and Doris Lessing's brains.   We first meet Marianne, a retired college president, and Eddie, who writes essays on pornography for The New York Review of Books, in the Adirondacks. They are waiting for Elinor, an editor at a Manhattan publishing house, to arrive by motorboat and explain her memoir. In her memoir, Elinor savages her oldest friend, Marianne, as typical of a whole class of I'm-all-right-Jack Upper West side intellectuals who betrayed their youthful idealism in the dreary Cold War years. Eddie, an ex-husband as well as an ex-radical, has been deleted, even from Elinor's index. From the beginning of their ménage à trois, Eddie has always been the odd man out. [LEFT] is as much consumed by female friendship as it is by left history.   Almost immediately, we flash back fifty years to their first visit to the Adirondacks, fresh from college politics in the middle of the Spanish Civil War, looking for money to start a magazine a lot like Partisan Review. We'll go back and forth the rest of the play, until all six of them, the pure of heart and their revised editions, are in the same room, at the same time, a crowd of regrets.   These people talk about Joseph Stalin and the Sierra Club, Amnesty International and Saran Wrap, South Africa and skinny-dipping. What they're really talking about is friendship in history. If the person is political, how much so, at what cost and is there any forgiveness? I felt like a spy, switching sides so often in my sympathies.”John Leonard, New York


4m, 4f

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