(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 2/7; via Pam Green.)
LONDON – Certain plays allow you to crawl inside them in the way that good books do. You come to inhabit such productions so completely that when they end you experience that glazed resentment that arrives when you have to put down a novel that’s consumed you for the length of a plane or train ride.
I was lucky enough to encounter two works of that rare stripe only a day apart this week: Tena Stivicic’s “Three Winters” — a time-traveling portrait of a contentious Croatian family, which just ended its run at the National Theater — and a sulfurous revival of “The Changeling,” Thomas Middleton and William Rowley’s 17th-century revenge tragedy, at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse of Shakespeare’s Globe.
Both plays left me happily replete, though neither could be said to be cheerful or even pleasant. “The Changeling” has always been notorious for its grisly depictions of civilized savagery, and “Three Winters” considers the moral price exacted for survival through decades of divisive political foment. They are hefty in length as well, each approaching three hours.