don’t forget the light! and the red paper lantern! “i’ve always depended on the kindess of strangers” AHHHH
I can’t vouch for that last line because MY THEATER FUCKED UP AND DIDN’T SCREEN THE LAST FEW MINUTES OF THE PLAY
Hey!! You described it so much more eloquently than I could! I couldn’t even remember these completely obvious details because I’m still so strangely struck by the whole thing that I can’t even form a comprehensible thought. This is why re-watches were invented…and also bootlegs. but I agree with the general consensus here, which is that Tiger + Coke with ice and lemon + BATHTUB + Stanley’s pajamas (ack) + Blanche’s breakdown dress + Blanche’s birthday dress + Blanche’s giggle + BLANCHE AND GILLIAN IN GENERAL = OVERWHELMING INDESCRIBABLE EMOTION
Gillian’s performance completely floored me. She was amazing, so much so I don’t think I’ll be able to say how I feel about it as intelligently as I’d like to. The abuse scenes were intense, but that’s the general aura of the play…it’s brutal, but beautifully so, and I’m in awe of Gillian (and the rest of the cast, but mostly Gillian) for doing such a raw and grueling piece of work 8 times a week. There is absolutely no way playing something like that doesn’t take a toll on a person emotionally and mentally and physically, so I have an infinite amount of respect for her for it, for the amount of work she puts into it. Even to hear her talk about the play is such a privilege — it’s absolutely plain that she understands the material completely and has spent a lot of time pouring over it and Blanche, and she takes so much pride in it, and the fact that it’s her dream role and she was so determined to take part in it makes me so happy for her.
My favorite part of the play…is it cheating if I just say literally everything about Gillian’s performance? Specifically the second act, of course, and when Blanche’s neurosis reaches a pinnacle. Gillian was so absorbed in the character and I was so absorbed in the character, it makes me still feel dazed about it. Gillian-the-actress was unrecognizable in the best possible way. That Mississippi accent! It still haunts me, it will forever. They weren’t exaggerating when they said she was made for this character; from the second she walked onstage I was enamored, because she just…becomes Blanche so convincingly. Even the more subtle, funny lines like “may I speak plainly” were done so well and with so much impeccable detail…and then, of course, there’s the really heavy stuff; Blanche’s descent into madness was written so well and it was obviously performed phenomenally by Gillian. I’m almost scared to say anything else about it, because my words aren’t good enough to get across how utterly breathtaking she was in portraying Blanche’s breakdown.
So, yeah, for now I can’t really give a definitive answer regarding my favorite part, I’m still reeling too much from it. I also went into this with no prior knowledge about the play, so I think I want to watch the Vivien Leigh version as well as the bootleg of Gillian’s again.
She’s an alcoholic. That’s it. Full stop. Game over. Of course she comes to the table with a great deal of psychological frailty, but her excessive drinking only exacerbates her condition. […]
Her sister Stella talks about her as a child and says she was always in a world of her own, always fantasizing about one thing or another. And the tragedy of Blanche is that she never got past that. The husband she convinced herself wasn’t really gay, the degrading encounters she tried to pretend were more than one-night stands, the march of time she thinks she halts by putting on sunglasses and dressing in high fashion … all of these things are signs of her mental weakness.
And if there is a weakness in the mind to begin with, then alcoholism will grab hold of that weakness and walk hand in hand with it until you’re heading surely down the road to destruction. The tragedy of Blanche is that as the play progresses, she seems to be getting stronger, but she’s only getting more self-centred and there’s nothing inside for her to hold onto.❞