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Review: Shakespeare Theatre Company "Old Times"

Excerpt from a review (c)

May 24, 2011

Steven Culp as Deeley and Tracy Lynn Middendorf as Kate with Holly Twyford as Anna
Photo (c) Scott Suchman / showbizradio
Steven Culp as Deeley
Photo (c) Scott Suchman / showbizradio
By Joe Adcock (Reviewed May 22, 2011)

Of course there's a sense of menace. That's a Harold Pinter play for you. And bullying. Bullies of various sorts are some of Pinter's preferred agents of menace.

But sinister words and actions are quite refined in Pinter's 1971 "Old Times". Refinement and restraint are much in evidence in the Shakespeare Theatre Company's current revival of this dark comedy. If it weren't for a loud outburst in which a defenseless sofa is punched, the element of danger would be mostly a matter of mood in STC artistic director Michael Kahn's production.


During "Old Times"' 90 minutes, Deeley, played by Steven Culp, descends from barely polite sneering and sarcasm to boorish bluster. From there he slips into a state of blubbering humiliation.


As far as inspired acting is concerned, Twyford's Anna carrries this production from start to finish, making it a rewarding (though essentially bleak) experience. Head held high, eyes flashing, Twyford moves briskly and speaks energetically. Her presence is edgy and unpredictable. She offsets Culp's stolid petulance and truculence and Middendorf's dull passivity.

Not that Twyford is putting on a one woman show at the STC. Culp and Middendorf offer enough give and take to make the drama dramatic.

You can read the full review at

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