fringe: dorothy parker's sweet release of death
Dorothy Parker, 1937
Every chair in the State Dining Room of the Ayers House Museum for tonight's performance of "Dorothy Parker's Sweet Release of Death" had a quote by the lady herself.
The glasses quote, appropriately enough, was mine.
And the venue could not have been more perfect for this show... the State Dining Room is a beautiful space that perfectly fit the style and era of the material.
For those who don't know, Dorothy Parker (1893–1967) was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her acerbic wit.
She invented a lot of the phrases we take for granted, like 'one-night-stand', 'queer', and 'what the hell'.
And Lucy Gransbury inhabits Parker brilliantly... from her dishevelled entrance to her sharp delivery of some excellent dialogue.
Accompanied by the very accomplished Miss Calamari (I honestly can't remember her name, only how Parker refers to her... although she did have the most amazing shoes) on piano, Gransbury sings her way through a collection of Parker's songs and poetry set to music.
At the beginning of the show Gransbury was lacking a little bit of volume and was somewhat drowned out by the piano, but by the end of the show she'd found her level and was giving it everything she had.
She was also wonderfully funny during the between song banter... funny and occasionally pitiful as some of the darker side of Parker's story emerged.
The best thing about the show though was all of Parker's original, wonderfully acidic and witty text woven into the dialogue... be it one liners about men...
"I require three things in a man: he must be handsome, ruthless, and stupid."
"This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force."
"It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard."
It definitely made me want to find out more about Mrs Parker. And although I may not agree with her in any regard about Winnie The Pooh, I do like both her and Gransbury's style.