Internationaal Theater Amsterdam
Isabelle Huppert stars in a shrewd staging of Tennessee Williams’ autobiographical memory play, to be livestreamed from the ITA
Is this a latecomer weaving through the front row of the stalls? No, it’s warehouse poet Tom Wingfield, narrator of Tennessee Williams’ first hit and most autobiographical play. Nahuel Pérez Biscayart – with brush-up hair and scruffy moustache, wry smile and sunken eyes – doesn’t half look like the playwright as he performs an illusion with a scarf and rope, assisted by the audience.
For their own latest magic trick, director Ivo van Hove and designer Jan Versweyveld shrewdly plunge Williams’ 1944 memory play – set a decade earlier, in a St Louis tenement – into a subterranean domain. The family’s Victrola, typewriter and kitchen appliances are present but the floor is earthen, the burrowed walls covered with sketches of the long-gone Mr Wingfield that resemble cave paintings.