Peter Gill, playwright and theatre director


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Curtain Calls

Take two guys. Frank, apart from tile fact that they both write and direct plays their own and other people's Peter Gill and David Mamet have nothing in common. I mean, Peter Gill is Catholic, Welsh and gay, while Mamet is Jewish, American and heterosexual. So the idea of Gill directing Mamet is surely preposterous? Wrong.

In fact, the twinning of these two talents, with Gill directing Mamet's Speed-the-Plow, is a match made in heaven. Their backgrounds and subject matter could not be more different, but the writing is startling similar. Check out the construction. Their surface texts often appear inconsequential or elliptical, but that's because the two of them know that people never say what they mean. Great productions of their plays effortlessly reveal the highly precise maps of individual motives lurking beneath the surface. We'll have to wait for Mamet to revive Gill's back catalogue. In the meantime, savour this.

Speed-the-Plow, New Ambassadors Theatre. London WC2 (020-7836 6111) Monday, 13 April to 22 April

David Benedict, The Independent, 11 March 2000


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Last modified: 2012-03-15