LUTG Presents: Breakfast at Tiffany’s – More like leftovers…

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We all know the iconic image of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly in the adaption of Truman Capote’s testament to the pipedream in the Big Apple, a young woman’s struggles to navigate life and of course, love. Hepburn oozes sophistication and glamour, charming everyone she meets, much like the main character in LUTG’s latest production and a remake of the classic.

The best part about this play was undoubtedly the main character, the actress portraying Holly executed her character perfectly – glamorous, charming, delusional, self-obsessed and beautiful. This performance almost made up for the hard pill to swallow that is amateur dramatics.

Image courtesy of LUTG

The remake is set in the 1940s, like the original book, although throughout the play there are very few indicators of the time period with which this is set in. The only place I derived this information from was the LUTG website. There are vague indications throughout the play through style, music and accents, but surely this information would have been better delivered in the opening monologue?

Speaking of monologues, the play is narrated by a down-on-her-luck writer, Ash, who presents several monologues throughout the play which provide helpful insights and background on the goings on in the play as well as insights on the enigmatic Holly. Another strong performance from the second female protagonist, but also a confusing one. In the original ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s,’ the narrator is unnamed but specified as a man. LUTG experimented with sexuality and gender by making the narrator of their production a female who describes their interactions with Holly and makes clear of their feelings for the elusive protagonist, feelings which amount to an anti-climactic kiss scene, after which the feelings are still prevalent, but are pushed aside for the sake of friendship. This take is interesting given that in Truman’s original work and the 1961 film, the narrators are both males, but I suppose there is an expectation for gender experimentation in today’s modern cultural landscape.

Image courtesy of LUTG

The play also has more exciting aspects as well, especially the set-up of the stage as the action of the play took place in one of three settings – Holly’s apartment, Ash’s apartment or Joe’s bar – with background and filler action conducted through speech in the wings. This minimalistic setting helps the audience focus on the actions of the play and perhaps emphasises the simultaneous closeness and distance between Holly and Ash.
Throughout the play there were apparent moments of comedy – to clarify, this play is not a comedy. I can admit that at times the quirks of characters can make the audience smile. However, the majority of the laugh-out-loud moments appear to be derived from cast members acting foolish or inside jokes with the audience who were predominantly made up of friends of the cast and crew or partners of those who had been dragged along for a ‘taste of culture.’

To summarise, live theatre is always a treat whether it is bad or good as you navigate taste – it will either give you a new show to obsess over or solidify an adamant dislike. In this case, it cemented my dislike for amateur dramatics. The storyline was stilted and at times hard to follow especially with the apparent limited cast who played dual characters where even a costume change did not manage to remedy this aspect.

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