Last night, at the Rialto Theatre, we had the first readthrough of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross, which is on for a week in the Brighton Festival come May. Roger Kay has assembled what looks and sounds like a great cast, and by any objective assessment we hit the ground running – or, in the real estate parlance of the play, we’re on the board already!
I’m playing George Aaronow, the most downtrodden and demoralised of the four salesmen, and I noticed something last night which seems to me key to the character. When his colleague Shelly comes in, full of the big sale he’s just made, George is pleased for him – effusively and genuinely so, despite his own recent lack of success (which he knows, in the current climate of sales contests and leader boards, is likely to lose him his job). His other colleagues’ attitude is likewise telling, it seems to me: Roma is also full of congrats, but perhaps, we learn in time, largely because he sees in Shelly’s success a chance to further his own interests; Moss, on the other hand, lately on the same kind of losing streak as Aaronow, is unable to respond to Shelly‘s good news with anything other than bitterness. But perhaps Moss is the kind of character who’d resent another’s good fortune even if he were doing OK himself. It may be that in Moss’s case (to paraphrase the various writers who’ve been credited with the sentiment), it’s not enough to succeed; others must fail.
Robert Cohen – a man in showbiz so stepp’d in that, should he wade no more, to go back were as tedious as go o’er. These are among his musings.