Wishing I could see: David Mamet's November

David Mamet has been writing superbly sharp and smart plays,movies and tv shows for more than 30 years including The Verdict, the Pulitzer prize winning Glengarry Glen Ross (play and movie), Speed the plow, Ronin, State and Main, Wag the Dog and a whole bunch more.

Glengarry Glen Ross has always been a particular favourite for it's astounding timing and use of language (and particularly use of swearing) - there is no wasted talent in the film version of this either, every actor (Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Johnathon Pryce and Alec Baldwin) absolutely owning their scenes.

Anyway - I was going to talk about his new play - November. All I know is what I've read but what I've read looks good.

November takes aspects of the Bush Administration — a love of God, and suspicion of foreign nations and homosexuals — and created a farce in which the president's annual ritual of pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey is compromised by the threat of avian flu and a same-sex wedding in the White House.

This creates energetic and enjoyable comedy. There's also the hint of a large and serious charge underneath: Smith's attempt to remodel the entire Thanksgiving holiday (replacing turkey with another food) can be taken as a metaphor for what Bush's enemies see as a contempt for American history. But Mamet's main satirical point is the form he has chosen: his Bush-era play is a farce with a laughing stock at its heart.

Now sure, making jokes about Bush is like shooting oil in a barrel but given Mamet's extraordinary talents, I still think he'll be able to find 20 new ways of doing it.