The Arlington Players A Man for All SeasonsBy Laura & Mike Clark • Feb 14th, 2007 • Category: Reviews
Listen to our review of The Arlington Players and their performance of A Man for All Seasons [MP3 5:33 1.6MB].
Mike: A Man for All Seasons is a play written by Robert Bolt. It is based on the story of Sir Thomas More. He was the Chancellor of England in the 1500’s. He refuses to do what the king wants by saying it’s ok for the king to divorce his wife so that he can marry his mistress. The king is of course not pleased. He ends up arresting Thomas More who has to decide if it’s worth it to follow his principles when his life is at stake.
Laura: This show kept my attention throughout the performance. The language was such that I was able to follow it. It made sense. I could figure out what was going on, who the characters were and stuff. Overall I thought everybody acted well and it was an enjoyable evening.
Mike: This was a historical drama piece which I don’t generally look forward to. Usually they are very slow plodding pieces. Very flowy language and nothing is happening. This was the exact opposite of that. It was very engaging. There were a ton of people at the performance we saw last weekend. The acting was very top notch all the way around. Very simple set. Very effective lighting. It was very enjoyable show. It wasn’t a lot of fun, it was a very serious topic getting into the politics of telling the truth and telling the king what he wants to hear versus what your heart is tells you is the right thing. All in all this was a very good show.
Laura: The role of the Common Man was played by Cal Whitehurst. I liked his performance. He came out at the beginning and set the stage. Told who everybody was. He had several different roles that he played throughout the performance from funny to very serious. At the beginning of the show when he was setting the scene he was the comic relief; talking about everybody and their relationships to the king. Then at the end he had a very serious role. He played the Guard and the Executioner. He had a good scene in the middle of the play where he played a Boatsman who was escorting Thomas More back and forth across the river. I liked watching his performance very much.
Mike: Sir Thomas More, the Chancellor of England was played by David Kerrigan. The Chancellor would be roughly equivalent to the Supreme Court Chief Justice. He had a complicated role. He had to express to us how he was so dedicated to the ideals that he held dear. The Catholic Church and the Pope being people, but responsible for what’s right and what’s wrong. He also had to stand up to the king and the kings advisors and his friends, which was probably the hardest thing for Thomas More to do. To stand up to your friends with what you think is right. He had to stand up to Cardinal Wolsey played by Will Shields. Thomas Cromwell played by Daniel Lavanga. Talk with the Spanish Ambassador played by Manolo Santalla.
Throughout the whole thing he stayed focused on this is what I think is right. I’m not going to do what’s most easy. I’m going to do what’s right. David Kerigan also had several touching scenes with his family. They supported him, but they were also telling him, “No, you need to do what you need to do to get out of this prison.” He stayed steadfast and encouraged them to accept that he’s doing the right thing by not submitting to the wishes of the king.
Laura: Both Lady Alice More, played by Freida Enoch and Lady Margaret More, Sir Thomas More’s daughter played by Laura Rocklyn gave very powerful performances. At the end when Sir Thomas More was going up to the tower for the final time. I thought that was a very touching scene.
Mike: It was a simple set. It was a walkway rising from the back of the stage to the front of the stage. The set was designed by Russell Kopp. It was very nicely used. There were some overhangs where some of the set pieces were stored. The Common Man would move them around for each scene usually. Sometimes the other actors would carry in chairs or things like that, but usually the Common Man moved things around. It flowed right into the scene. He would be giving lines as he was moving furniture. That worked pretty well. Also the costumes were very good. They definitely enhanced the show. They were not thrown together. They were actually worked on. They looked pretty realistic, with lots of texture to them and lots of good bright colors.
Laura: The lighting designer was AnnMarie Castrigno. The lighting very much enhanced the show. Especially at the end when Sir Thomas more was giving his monologue about why he couldn’t endorse what King Henry wanted to do with divorcing Queen Catherine to marry a mistress. They had a single light shining down on him and I thought it was very effective.
A Man for All Seasons is playing for one more weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8 PM at the Thomas Jefferson Theatre in Arlington Virginia. I do recommend you go see this how. It was very good.
Mike: The show is about three hours long with one intermission. It was an enjoyable show. It was a deep show. You will not be disappointed if you go see this.
Laura: And now, on with the show.
Photos provided by the Arlington Players.
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Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.