Fool For Love, Sam Shepard. Found 111, 111 Charing Cross Road. Review by Julia Pascal.



Sam Shepard’s 1983 play has now become a theatre classic because of the hugely challenging roles it gives to four actors.  The plot centres around the love-hate relationship between an incestuous half-brother and sister.  Shepard’s structure appears naturalistic but he also deconstructs naturalism by writing the ghostly character of the libidinous father as both an observer and a commentator on his own life.  This device gives us the past and the present simultaneously.

Fool For Love is set in a grubby motel in the West.  Eddie arrives to after a 2,800 mile drive to drag his sister-lover back to the tin trailer she has escaped.  May refuses to return to him  and accuses him of infidelity.  The brutal and erotic games between them are fueled by jealousy and alcohol.  May plays the jealousy game by announcing that she is dating Martin, her new man.  This love triangle is the repetition of their own backstory as they share a father but have different mothers.  The acute psychological tricks are neatly plotted and the language has a humour and poetry that makes Shepard a literary giant.

The four performers, Adam Rothenberg as Eddie, Lydia Wilson as May and Joe McGann, as their father, together with Luke Neal, who plays May’s suitor, inhabit their roles with an intensity and authenticity that is engrossing.  Simon Evans’ production is sharp and engaging.

It is a great revival of a wonderful play and the level of acting is stunning.

Julia Pascal © 2016.