It’s a bad time for the playwright David Mamet right now. His new play, The Anarchist, starring Debra Winger and Patti LuPone will close on December 16, 2012, it has been announced. The play opened at the John Golden Theatre on December 2, to largely negative reviews and the effect of those reviews means that the play will only run for its 23 previews and 17 performances, The Wrap has reported. A bitter disappointment, no doubt, for the Pulitzer Prize winning writer, who is more accustomed to being on the receiving end of endless praise, rather than such harsh criticisms as he has received for The Anarchist.
The New York Times review was particularly harsh, saying that the play “is not lurid, spark filled or even expletive laden” and Mark Kennedy of Associated Press was equally dismissive of Mamet’s efforts, writing that “The Anarchist starts in second gear and never really speeds up or slows down, just becomes wave after wave of staccato dialogue that is more pleasant on the page than spoken.” The play had originally been scheduled to run for 14 weeks until February 17, 2013 but it now looks as though the reviews have had a disastrous impact on the play’s fortunes.
To further add to Mamet’s misery, a revival of his 1984 Pulitzer-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross has been pushed back to open this Saturday (December 8, 2012) after originally being planned for November. Let’s hope Mamet’s confidence can weather the storm and we see a return to form from him soon.