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Theatre Review: ‘Speaking In Tongues,’ Upstairs At The Walnut

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Walnut Street Theatre’s smaller, upstairs studio space is offering a rather unique piece of stagecraft: four actors creating nine characters in a play titled “Speaking In Tongues.”

Austrailian playwright Andrew Bovell has conceived a rather unique thriller whose title does not refer to the kind of gibberish frequently associated with a religious experience but to a set of interwoven narratives dealing with relationships in crisis — relationships born of passion and promise but currently in pain and regret.

While the play has its moments of honesty and humor, “Speaking In Tongues” appears a bit too glib and manufactured for its own good.

The play  is set to run through April 17th at the upstairs “Independence Studio on 3” stage of the Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut Street in center city Philadelphia.

Reviewed by Bob Nelson, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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One Comment

  1. Chris Miles says:

    Although I wish it were from a person straightforward and courageous enough to use a real user name, I agree with the comment above.

    In place of gibberish, which is insulting- one could have said: “arcane or rarefied language”

    1. Pope Innocent III says:

      Measuring another’s “straightforwardness” or personal “courage” on the basis of a choice of a nome de plume seems a rather too “straightforward” approach. Perhaps the word “brash” might fit better than “courage” to describe a response to a column on the arts in which the commentator is making an objective observation and is replied to with a verbal assault.
      The nome de plume was chosen for effect and dramatization of the point. It seems to have gone over some heads, or perhaps over the top, but that observation could have been made without attempting to measure and comment on another’s “courage”, as if there is any “courage” at all involved in writing responses. Perhaps you imagine yourself “courageous” for using your real name. Therefore you must give yourself a medal each time you sign a check in the bank for valor.

  2. Pope John Paul II says:

    Referring to another group’s religious experience as “gibberish” is probably considered in poor taste in most civilized places. If one were to refer to a Muslim’s prayers as “gibberish” or a Buddhist’s chants as “gibberish” one might have grounds for an accusation of religious bigotry. I would expect an apology and a more careful use of words around religious experiences in the future.

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