A Walk in the Woods (2012)
by Lee Blessing
Directed by Mark Davies
Auditions: Wed 18th, Thurs 19th, Sun 22nd January 2012 (with a possible further date for call-backs)
The place is a “pleasant woods on the outskirts of Geneva” and the time is the late Cold War period of the mid 1980s, where two nuclear arms negotiators, a Russian and an American, meet informally after long frustrating hours at the bargaining table. Andrey Botvinnik, the Russian, who has been in the job many years and has mastered the Soviet “hard line”, is profoundly cynical about how much they can really achieve. Joan Honeyman, the American, is new to the job and is a bit stuffy and pedantic in her idealism, but has an optimism and enthusiasm that she can make a real difference through perseverance and honesty.
Their conversations continue as the talks drag on and the seasons change, during which a proposal for an arms reduction is made and later fails. Through their absorbing and revealing conversations, we become aware both of the deepening understanding between them and also of the profound frustration which they increasingly feel as they struggle to, as Honeyman says, “prevent the total destruction of every living thing on this planet.”
As the seasons change we become aware of both their deepening understanding and frustration with the bargaining process, knowing that no changes will come about as long as the real power rests in the hands of those burdened by the bitterness of the past.
This play premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1987 before moving to the Booth Theatre, Broadway, New York City in 1988. It is also notable for being the play in which Alec Guinness made his last stage performance at the Comedy Theatre in 1989.
Joan Honeyman – Caroline Doyle
Andrey Botvinnik – Peter Medd
Stage Manager - Deirdre Parkes
Lighting Design - Charles Doyle
Lighting and Sound Operation - Sarah Farage
Programme Designed by Dave Hollander
Special thanks to
The Hope public house for rehearsal space, Carole Coyne for the bench, Val for the wardrobe, James Milford, the box office and bar volunteers, and the cast and crews from Dealer's Choice, The Deep Blue Sea, Singles and The White Devil.
Some review quotes go here
Reminiscences and Anecdotes