Matthew Lopez

Teoksen The Inheritance tekijä

3+ teosta 122 jäsentä 2 arvostelua

Tekijän teokset

The Inheritance (2018) 94 kappaletta
The Whipping Man (2009) 13 kappaletta

Associated Works

Merkitty avainsanalla


Panama City, Florida, USA



Inheriting E.M. Forster
Review of the Faber & Faber paperback (May 17, 2018)

Henry: How long is this thing at BAM?
Eric: Four hours.
Henry: My God. That's obscene.
Eric: But there's two intermissions.
- This dialogue at about the 3rd hour of Part 1 between two characters about a play at (BAM) Brooklyn Academy of Music got the biggest laugh from the Toronto audience 🤣. The Inheritance stage productions run about 7 hours in 2 Parts with 2 intermissions each.

It has now become a regular habit for me to read playscripts in print after seeing live productions on stage. My ratings are therefore strongly influenced by the impact of having the scripts brought to life. This was again the case with The Inheritance, which despite its length, was riveting theatre throughout.

It mostly takes place in New York City in 2015-2018 with an Epilogue jump into the future. A framing device is used whereby 10 writers/playwrights are working in a writer's room where they are being mentored by Morgan (a ghostly incarnation of E.M. Forster). One writer's idea for a plot becomes the rest of the play.

The plot has 10 young men, 2 older men and 1 woman playing multiple roles. The main characters are Eric, Toby and Adam from the young men and Walter and Henry from the older men. Eric and Toby are in a relationship which begins to break apart as Toby's playwrighting career takes off and he becomes distracted by the actor Adam. Walter and Henry are a married couple living in the same apartment building. Eric gradually befriends Walter (in Part 1) and becomes the partner of Henry (in Part 2). The other young men play various friends and other roles throughout. The female part is a caregiver who doesn't appear until the final scenes of Part 2. All the characters are haunted in some manner by their past lives and the loss of friends in the AIDS Epidemic of the 1980s.

I'm barely scratching the surface with that plot summary as there are multiple scenes of drama, love, breakups, conflicts, fights throughout. Despite various tragedies along the way, the ending is uplifting and life-affirming. I was thrilled to experience the entire work in a single day.

Reading the play afterwards, I did note a few differences in the stage production. In Part 1 there is a reference to the "most transcendent and celebrated actor of all time", which in the script is implied to be Meryl Streep. In the Toronto production someone added the question "Glenda Jackson?" I don't know if that was some sort of inside joke. In Part 2 there is somewhat of a joke reference to "Israel and Palestine." That line was dropped entirely, obviously due to the present war.

Reading E.M. Forster (1879-1970) is not necessary to understanding The Inheritance, but knowing something about the novels such as Maurice (written 1913, but posthumously published in 1971) and Howards End (1910) does give helpful background to some plot elements.

See photo at
The cast of the 2024 Toronto production of "The Inheritance" take their bows at the conclusion of Part 1. The 20+ cameo walk-ons are partially seen towards the back of the photo.

See photo at
The cast of the 2024 Toronto production of "The Inheritance" take their bows at the conclusion of Part 2.

Trivia and Links
The Canadian Stage program booklet for the March/April 2024 Toronto production is available online (as a pdf file) here. The website for the production is here. These links may not be permanent. There is a teaser video for the Toronto production here.

The Playbill booklet for the 2019/2020 New York City production is still available online (as individual pages in a gallery) here (as of mid-April 2024). This production had to close early due to the COVID pandemic. It still won the 2020 Tony Award for Best Play as well as 3 other Tony Awards. This link may not be permanent. There is a video of the conclusion of Part 1 from the Broadway production here. This reveals the use of the cameo walk-ons who represent the ghosts of those who perished in the 1980s AIDS Epidemic. The ghosts greet Eric as he tours Walter's country house.

The website for the World Premiere production in March 2018 at the Young Vic Theatre in London, England is still available here. This link may not be permanent. This production won various UK theatre awards. I could not find the program booklet though. There is a promo video here.

See the Wikipedia page for The Inheritance here. It includes information about several productions in translation such as in German, Brazilian Portuguese and Danish. Only a Spanish translation is currently (as of April 2024) listed in print on Goodreads as La herencia.
… (lisätietoja)
Merkitty asiattomaksi
alanteder | 1 muu arvostelu | Apr 13, 2024 |
Critical analysis of a play is a challenge. Reading a play is a very different experience than hearing a reading or attending a performance. Plays are written to be heard and experienced. Not read. But this is a library not a theatre, so how does this play stand up as a work of literature? Amazingly, astonishingly well in my opinion. Typically I do not read a play before I see the production. In this case I read it before attending a Broadway production. And the play stands as a darn good read. The narrative drives straight through from beginning to end. The characters' words create the images just like descriptive passages in a novel do. You can see the house and the cherry tree from the characters description as clearly as a prose description. Dialogue can be particularly difficult to follow when reading a play as the pacing and interaction between characters doesn't flow like reality But when reading this play the voices in my head seemed very real. Like any good novel I didn't want the play to end, and yet it ended just right. In this instance, read the play then see the play.… (lisätietoja)
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Merkitty asiattomaksi
gaytheater | 1 muu arvostelu | Feb 5, 2021 |


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