Set on Midsummer’s Eve (June 23), Micheál mac Liammóir’s The Mountains Look Different is about a woman’s attempt to reinvent herself through marriage following years of working as a prostitute in London. First performed at the Gate Theater in Dublin, the noted Irish actor’s play was applauded for its openness by critics and audiences in 1948, but it was also disdained by the God-fearing and narrow-minded Catholic community. However bold it was then, by today’s standards director Aidan Redmond’s revival offers audiences little more than a diorama, a 3-D representation of a bygone era.
Over the next few months, the estimable Mint Theater, committed to rediscovering lost theatrical treasures, is producing three works by English playwright Elizabeth Baker. The first is The Price of Thomas Scott, a 1913 comedy-drama that features a top-notch ensemble of New York actors in a handsomely designed staging directed by Jonathan Bank.
The Mint Theater is reviving another thoroughly engaging play you’ve never heard of. This time it’s Miles Malleson’s Conflict, a 1925 political comedy, with fast-paced direction by Jenn Thompson and brightly polished performances from a noteworthy cast of seven.
Stanley Houghton’s bracingly unsentimental Hindle Wakes failed twice on Broadway, expiring after 30-odd performances in both 1912 and 1922. In a new century, the Mint Theater Company is demonstrating that this little-known play with its perplexing title is a compelling period piece. Directed by Gus Kaikkonen and performed with unrelenting gusto, Hindle Wakes is likely to prove more enduring this time around.
The Mint Theater is continuing its commitment to neglected works this summer with The Suitcase Under the Bed, a collection of four one-act plays written by little-known Irish playwright Teresa Deevy. The female playwright, whose work was produced by Ireland’s Abbey Theatre in the 1930s, has been a continued focus for the Mint since the theater company began its Teresa Deevy Project in 2009.
In 1922, Alan Alexander (A. A.) Milne’s The Lucky One was originally produced in New York. Milne is best known for his children stories about a good-natured teddy bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, and his friendship with a boy, Christopher Robin (named after Milne's son). Before the extraordinary success of Winnie-the-Pooh, Milne had published three novels and 18 plays. Two of them, Mr. Pim Passes By and The Truth About Blayds, the Mint Theater Company has previously resurrected.