Race, by David Mamet

My Copy: 9781559363822 (image from bn.com)

I’ve tried my hand at reading plays (other than Shakespeare’s) before, and one David Mamet already (Glengarry Glen Ross). This one’s pretty hyper and intense, published in 2010.

Race has four people in the whole play: Jack and Henry, a white and black lawyer respectively, their go-fer and law student, Susan (who is about half their age and black), and the possible client, Charles. Charles is a white man in his 40s, accused of raping a young black woman.

We don’t know the accuser’s name, and know just a few details of the case: a hotel room, some dialogue I won’t spoil, and a red sequined dress. These elements create most of the drama in the lawyer’s office. The lawyers haven’t figured out whether or not they’re going to take the case, and their situation gets more complicated as more info comes along.

Jack and Henry have always prided themselves on their success, and it’s interesting to see how Henry, the black lawyer, talks to Jack the most and Charles, the client, but he and Susan rarely have dialogue.

In Mamet fashion, the lawyers are all over the place, rapid-fire delivery and dialogue, blunt and grandiose in turns. I think it would be fabulous to see on the stage with great actors, because picturing it is not enough. It’s not too difficult to read, but rather, it has so much in it as a mystery on many levels.

I’m not up on contemporary plays and whatnot, but I gotta say, this one’s got so much to it, especially regarding the obvious topic of race. That’s the point of the play–how does race affect behavior, those who are black or white, male or female, etc.?

I think it throws a monkey wrench into politically correct ways to approach race, that’s for sure.

I sure wouldn’t mind seeing it.

5 thoughts on “Race, by David Mamet

  1. madmegsblog says:

    One of my favourite actors (well, probably THE fave) James Spader actually did this play on Broadway a few years back with Kerry Washington and David Alan Grier. You can see clips on Youtube! I so wished I could have seen it. I will try and read it! I love David Mamet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheChattyIntrovert says:

      I am an impulsive book-buyer and class-taker. I signed up for every Masterclass available (thank you all-access pass). David Mamet has one on Dramatic Writing (which I’ll start taking in a few months: trying to get through Hadfield’s Space Exploration one, Gehry’s Design and Architecture one, and Keller’s Cooking Techniques first). This is one of the ones for recommended reading, but I wanted to pull it out because I’d just gotten through The Hate U Give and it was next in the pile, so I thought “what the heck” and dived in.

      It’s less than 10 years old, and initial actors for it were James Spader, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier and somebody else (don’t have it right in front of me, sorry). I dunno if it’s being performed anywhere, but if I find it, I’d love to see it.

      Liked by 1 person

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