lindsayportugal (lindsayportugal) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Lindsay Lohan makes stage debut in Speed-the-Plow, relevant critics PRAISE her performance

"Speed The Plow" - Press Night - After Party - Richard Schiff, Lindsay Lohan, Nigel Lindsay

Some excerpts of reviews that are not by that daily mail character as the one posted earlier (lmao embarrassing OP)...

After the year’s most-discussed West End previews, Speed-the-Plow – a David Mamet revival starring Mean Girls’ Lindsay Lohan – had its official opening night on 2 October. Have a look at what the critics had to say after taking their seats at the Playhouse theatre:

Speed-the-Plow, theatre review: What a turn up! Lindsay Lohan silences the doubters with a deft performance

Did Lindsay Lohan turn up to this most intensely – not to say, morbidly – awaited First Night of the theatrical season? Yes, she did. Did she stay to the end? Indubitably. Did she remember all her lines (the prompters who jogged her memory during the painfully scrutinised preview period have garnered the bulk of the kudos so far in this venture)?

Given the circumstances and the glare of publicity, it would have been understandable if she had succumbed to traumatic mutism at tonight’s press performance of Speed-the-Plow, so it’s good to report that she was completely on top of the script.

And lastly – and most importantly – is David Mamet’s trenchant, verbally intricate satire on the dubious values of Tinseltown at long last the centre of attention rather than the distractingly turbulent life and problems of Lindsay Lohan?

If the answer to that is a surprising and refreshing Yes – in Lindsay Posner’s entertaining, if slightly underpowered, production – that is little thanks to the producers. In hiring a young woman who has sadly become a byword for unreliability (six months in rehab; a two-week stretch in prison for breaking parole etc) to make her stage debut in the small but pivotal role of the producer’s temporary secretary in this testing three-hander, they must have known that there’s a thin line between being seen as offering the 28-year-old actress a bracing shot at redemption and being perceived as exploiting her troubled emotional history.

It’s not even clear that notoriety necessarily puts bums on seats, though in the British it certainly foments that gloating schadenfreude that loves nothing better than to gawp at the high and mighty brought low.

So bravo to Lindsay Lohan for transcending these considerations and turning in a deftly delineated characterisation. Sporting a white minidress and turquoise heels in one scene, she has real presence as a gauche, husky-voiced operator who keeps you guessing as to how far she goes around using her idealistic naivete and wide-eyed questions (“Does it have to be like this?”) as a stalking horse for naked ambition.

As she reads with mesmerised fervour from a god-awful novel about radiation that she yearns to see filmed, you feel that she wouldn’t be able to give you a definitive answer either. She’s winning and worrying at the same time.

more at the source - the independent

There has been a huge amount of what I can only call noise in both the popular and trade press about whether ‘ravaged’ ‘former child star’ Lindsay Lohan could pull off her stage debut in Speed-the-Plow or even prove sufficiently reliable to turn up to the theatre eight times a week since she’d clearly be staggering out of Chiltern Firehouse or Chinawhite in the small hours after every performance.

It seemed as though some commentators wouldn’t really be happy unless she were found on press night in a Northumberland Avenue gutter with a needle in her arm, and tickets might sell better if the producers displayed her naked in a glass case and instead of ice-creams the ushers sold something rotted with which punters could pelt her. Fruit, vegetables, the flesh of a first-born, it wouldn’t matter.

Having never been exposed to her Disney or later work – indeed, I wasn’t entirely sure whether she was actress or pop singer when the opportunity arose to see her on stage – I must be one of the few critics to approach this project with an open mind. I hadn’t even seen the earlier productions of the play in which, allegedly, Kevin Spacey and Madonna were separately excellent and terrible.

She isn’t in the first scenes setting up the plot of two Hollywood movie executives sparring over a new macho prison movie they might green-light, with sparky dialogue which reminded me of the scenes in Death of a Saleman where Willy Loman and his cohorts bluster about business, but also with the satirical edge of BBC’s excellent Episodes. The senior one barks intercom commands at what’s clearly a comically inefficient temporary secretary so that when Lohan arrives without the coffee they repeatedly ordered, you’re expecting Lucille Ball.

She looks as tall and as red-haired as Lucy, although her tresses cascade down her back and with the riven cheekbones she looks more model than secretary, but she’s completely audible and on top of the part. Rumours that she would play it like a finale of The Generation Game reading the lines off the props are not only greatly exaggerated but extraordinarily sexist because in fact it’s the West Wing’s Richard Schiff who’s unsteady in the lines, and it was for him that last Saturday’s matinee was held 30 minutes so an understudy could be saddled up. He was announced as sick, but had also been tweeting that he’d stayed up late to watch a baseball game. Makes Lohan look quite professional.

She must be a delight to act with because she looks directly at the other characters when addressing them. Not only does this add a great deal of authenticity to her interpretation of the purposeful and possibly wily Karen, it resists both the theatrical convention of ‘cheating’ one’s face slightly more to the audience than real conversation demands, or any starry vanity which might be tempted to check out the Stalls.

more at the source - johnny fox

Speed-the-Plow review - Lindsay Lohan brings unusual naivety to tame revival
Playhouse, London
Lindsay Lohan provides the most interest in a revival of David Mamet’s anti-Hollywood satire that otherwise fails to takes wing

So how was she? The first thing to say is that Lindsay Lohan gives a perfectly creditable performance in this revival of David Mamet’s acerbic, anti-Hollywood satire. Whatever her colourful past, Lohan brings on stage a quality of breathless naivety that is far and away the most interesting thing in Lindsay Posner’s otherwise tame, under-powered revival.

Lohan plays Karen, the temporary secretary to a newly appointed studio production chief who persuades him to abandon a surefire project in favour of a clunky novel about radiation. It is perfectly possible to interpret Karen as a sharp-witted Hollywood hustler.

But Lohan, with her husky voice and rapt intensity, convinces you of Karen’s sincerity when she gets her boss to talk about principles. Even if, in the play’s central scene, she turns up at the chief’s house in a startlingly brief mini-dress, Lohan implies that Karen is simply using her sex appeal as a means to further the project. This doesn’t mean Lohan is ready to play Hedda Gabler tomorrow: simply that, aside from a single prompt, she holds the stage with ease and doesn’t let the side down.


It is faintly ironic that a play attacking Hollywood’s cautious cynicism itself here relies on a piece of ostentatious celebrity-casting. But, of all the people called Lindsay involved in this production, it is Lohan who actually comes off best. She brings a fresh quality to Mamet’s play by suggesting Karen is less a manipulative witch than a figure of genuine missionary zeal.

more at the source - the guardian

With the eyes of the press upon her, the pressure upon Lindsay Lohan must have been immense.

In Mamet's three-hander, Lohan's role has the fewest lines, but is the most pivotal. As the naive temp to a Hollywood exec, the husky-voiced Lohan put in a believable performance - if a little stagey at times.

The character Karen doesn't enter until 15 minutes into the first act and has little to do. But in the second act she dominates the action with impassioned speeches and complex quotes from a novel about radiation. Her minor line fluff at his point seemed down to first-night nerves. It didn't derail the play.

Lohan is likely to settle into the role once the critics have moved on. She isn't the first Hollywood star to draw the crowds to the West End stage - and she won't be the last.

During the curtain call, Lohan let off a giant party popper that showered the front of the stalls with gold confetti.

The 28-year-old appears alongside West Wing star Richard Schiff and stage actor Nigel Lindsay who play Hollywood hotshots - Bobby Gould and Charlie Fox - who want to pitch a movie idea to the head of the film studio.

Their plan goes awry when Karen suggests a different idea for a film based on a book she was asked to read.

Thursday's opening night at the Playhouse Theatre followed a week of previews and newspaper speculation about Lohan's performance.

more on the source - bbc

Well, the doomsayers, the mockers and those quick to bitch on Twitter can go hang. On Thursday night, Lindsay Lohan, that notably notorious American actress and the most gossiped-about celebrity invitee to London’s theatreland in ages, made her stage debut with a surprising - and smouldering – degree of style.

Will her performance as Karen in Lindsay Posner’s workaday but watchable revival of David Mamet’s evergreen, sharp-witted 1988 satire on Hollywood’s cynical movers and shakers set her firmly on the road to critical rehabilitation? I doubt it. Are those years of going off the rails (crimes, misdemeanours and car-crashes galore) following her early promise as a child star finally at an end? Who can say?

But she delivers enough of the goods, playing the small but pivotal role of a temporary secretary who upsets the male balance of power in a top production office, to hold her head up high.

Karen is arguably the toughest character to crack. At first, she’s a subservient, if inquisitive bystander to the showy verbal sparring between her boss, the newly elevated Bobby, and his old associate Charlie, who brings in a time-sensitive offer that could be the making of them both. She then turns seductress in Bobby’s apartment to plead the case, in spiritual, barely coherent terms, for greenlighting the adaptation of a hippy-trippy novel about radiation instead. She wins out but the final act reverts to Bobby’s office where tempers fray, expletives fly and, after overstepping the mark, she gets brutally side-lined once again.

Attractive, leggy and arrestingly husky of voice Lohan, 28, gives an ample sense of this journey, convincing us she’s an outsider even if certain lines (“I know what it is to be bad”) seem calculated to remind you of her real-life Lalaland exploits.

more at the source - the telegraph

+ extra interview with the director: 'Lindsay Lohan is a proper actress'

What prompted you to revive Speed-the-Plow?

I've directed many Mamet plays but never this one, and I've long wanted to. Because of the 2008 revival starring Kevin Spacey and Jeff Goldblum, I knew I needed to find appropriate casting, both fresh and also equal to their calibre. I was talking about the play with some producers, and I'd heard that Lindsay Lohan was in London. So I immediately asked the producers to find out if she was interested in playing Karen, which they did. I had a number of meetings and rehearsed readings with her so we could both be sure it was something we wanted to do, and I was convinced by those meetings that she was serious and really wanted to do it, and reclaim her acting career.

So you'd presumably deny this was a case of stunt casting?

Well it was inevitable there would be accusations of that, so I wasn't irritated by them. But if I'd wanted to do stunt casting I would have cast a supermodel or Paris Hilton. I've always believed that Lindsay Lohan is a proper actress. In the movies I've seen her in, despite her troubles in life, I've always thought she was supremely talented. And when she came into the rehearsed readings it was manifestly clear that she hasn't lost that talent. Although for obvious reasons I was taking a risk, I felt I was casting a really good actress for the part.

Was that initial impression borne out in rehearsals?

Absolutely. I'm quietly confident that people's eyes will be wide with surprise when they see her on stage. It took her a few weeks to understand the repetition and discipline of theatre because it's something she's never known, but once she did understand she took to it like a duck to water. I have to say that in terms of vocal clarity and technique, you wouldn't know she hasn't been on stage before, and that really surprised me.

So none of the 'rehearsal walk out' rumours were true?

That [the rumours] really did depress me. It was all complete lies. I'm used to tabloids, but I was shocked to see serious websites like the Huffington Post (loll) saying that I'd given her warnings about her behaviour when she hadn't even started rehearsals. It was just completely made up. They said I'd told her "one strike and you're out", which is not a phrase a British director would use anyway. Another time in rehearsals there was a story in the Evening Standard about her running naked through Selfridge's, but I'd been in the rehearsal room with her at the time it supposedly took place. I do understand the way the media works, but even I was shocked by that.

It's easy to forget you've got two acclaimed lead actors in Richard and Nigel

Absolutely, I've got two actors of extremely high calibre. Because Lindsay [Lohan] has never been on stage before, and was obviously going to be very nervous in one way or another, I thought it would be really useful to cast seasoned theatre actors to provide support, stability and know-how. The cast as a whole bring a lot of insights into the workings of Hollywood, which really helps with the play.

read the full thing here

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Tags: actor / actress, interview, lindsay lohan, review

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