Carl Forsman, Artistic Director
THE HASTY HEART
By JOHN PATRICK
Theater Three, 311 W. 43 St., NYC, November 20 December 18, 2004
Directed by JONATHAN SILVERSTEIN
Scenic Designer HATHAN HEVERIN
Costume Designer THERESA SQUIRE
Lighting Designer JOSH BRADFORD
Sound Designer STEFAN JACOBS
Dialect Coach STEPHEN GABIS
Stage Manager MICHELE TRAUB
Press Representative KAREN GRECO ENTERTAINMENT
(in order of appearance)
Orderly Lucas Hall
Yank Chris Hutchinson
Digger Brian Sgambati
Kiwi Paul Swinnerton
Blossom Chris Chalk
Tommy Anthony Manna
Margaret Emily Donahoe
Colonel Stephen Bradbury
Lachlen Keith Nobbs
That THE HASTY HEART is a revival should be of little surprise to audiences. It is definitely the product of a time when life was not simpler, but when theater and the arts in general had not pounded every genre into a threadbare and predictable state of existence. In this way, the play is from a purer era, one where the nuances of the human condition had an impact, and the slightest change in temperament rang true and tugged at the heartstrings.
This particular work is set in a World War II British Army hospital. The ward is in Southeast Asia, and the patients represent the mix of nationalities that fought together as Allies. In fact, this coming together of nations is the inspiration for character nicknames in THE HASTY HEART. Yank is from the U.S., Digger is Australian, Kiwi from New Zealand and Tommy, British. They are all injured, but the men are called to a new sense of duty when a Scottish solider, Lachlen, enters their ranks.
Lachlen, as everyone knows except the proud soldier, is a dying man. His injured kidney removed, the remaining one is bad. The man has six weeks to live. The Colonel visits the hospital to encourage the wounded to welcome Lachlen, who believes he is recovering, and make his last weeks pleasant. Lachlen, however, is less than likeable, and in fear of abiding THE HASTY HEART. He is young, opinionated, and difficult, but brings out the best, even roundabout, in the group.
The lovely aspect of this revival is that the Keen Company, as well as the company assembled, have done notable work with John Patricks THE HASTY HEART. Beginning with the visually striking set, a series of beds covered with nets that protect the soldiers from insects, adding the affable cast and steady direction, this production, this play, deserve attention.
THE HASTY HEART is one of those works with pivotal details that make the difference, and need not be disclosed for fear of revealing too much. We already knew this was a good play. Here in NYC we are fortunate that, once again, Keen Company is the brains behind a solid production.
- Kessa De Santis -