SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION by John Guare

After hearing the story behind this play, I was worried Guare’s treatment wouldn’t hold up. Sometimes the real thing is tough to beat. Luckily, my fears were completely unfounded. This is a beautifully written, sharply satirical play. It manages to deal with race and class without resorting to negative (or positive) stereotypes. There is a lack of the smugness or corny attempts to seem relevant that often turn up when these issues are addressed in literature. Some of the speeches are also stunning set pieces. The final scene is mysteriously poignant and hard to forget. My only problem was the depiction of some of the younger people. They felt kind of like caricatures. I get that Guare wants us to see how the characters are eager for a connection with the impostor Paul because they have no connection with their own offspring. It’s a legitimate idea but it isn’t handled as well as the other parts of the play. Luckily, that’s a pretty small section. Otherwise, this is a memorable, unsettling and delightfully subtle masterpiece. 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s