Speed-the-Plow

When this production of David Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow was first announced, the big news was that it would star none other than Lindsay Lohan. Theatre forums and news outlets were full of questions – would Lohan be any good? Would she draw the crowds? Would she turn up at all?

As it turns out, Lohan is a decent stage actress – not amazing, but certainly not terrible. Her slightly awkward, understated performance is actually perfect for the character of Karen, the naive secretary who tries to persuade her boss that a cod-literary novel would make a better and more “worthy” subject for a movie adaptation than the commercial action film proposed by his co-producer.

Richard Schiff and Nigel Lindsay (the production is directed by Lindsay Posner; a confusing number of Lindsays) also give decent performances, but the big problem here is the play itself. It feels slight (not helped by the unnecessary interval, which comes halfway into the play’s one and a half hour running time), and its conclusion – that Hollywood will always go for the surefire commercial hit over the worthy but less appealing literary adaptation – is hardly revelatory. By all means see the play if you’re curious about seeing Lohan on stage – but the play itself really isn’t worth it.

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