Me and Peter sat down over the weekend to watch Red, this is a recording of the two man show that ran in Wyndham’s Theater from the 4th of May till the 28th of July. We where pleasantly surprised to discover that this is story that everyone needs to see. To give you the basic run down, this show won six Tony Awards, including Best Play. It stars award-winning stage and screen actor Alfred Molina (Spider-Man 2, Raider’s Of The Lost Arc and The Davinci Code) who reprises his critically acclaimed performance as the American abstract expressionist painter Mark Rothko. In this production he is joined by Alfred Enoch (How To Get Away With Murder and Harry Potter) , as his fictional assistant Ken.
Set over a period of two years the play focuses on the relationship between it’s two characters as they work on a series of murals that Rothko was commissioned to paint for the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. Though the two men rarely discuss personal details about their lives they do discuss philosophy, beliefs, motivations and passions.
So why do you need to watch this?
There are dozens of reasons why you need to watch this, all of which we talk about in the video above, but for now I will give you two.
Rothko was a complicated man, a troubled man and a brilliant man, I think he feared being seen as one thing and one thing only. This is true of all men, I myself worry that people may only remember me as the funny guy, the fat guy, the Irish guy, I am all these things and more, as is art. Nothing is simply one thing, everything is many. Even when discussing the color red they give the viewer dozens of definitions of what is red and that is just brilliantly overwhelming.
That leads me to my second point, color. They speak of loosing all the red and embracing black, loosing our passion to face death, but not the death of the artists their art, becoming old, loosing your edge, forgetting how to lust, but this is something all artists fear, though so rarely have I heard it defined so well.
As a fan of cinema I could not help but love this, which you might find surprising, but the fact that it was filmed live on a stage really added to the emotional impact. Using close zooms on the actors we saw these subtle little expressions that few would see and this helps further draw you in. At the end of it you feel like your the painting in the studio, watching these two men, you are left as part of the performance.
I am not an expert on art, I know what I like and I know what I hate. I understand that one might spend a life time looking at a painting only to have someone else see aspects of it you have never noticed before, but I will never call myself an expert. This play does not need you to be an expert on art, but after watching it you will have a far better understanding of it and this understanding will extend to all aspects of your life. Yes this tale is one that will make you a better person and it is one that everyone needs to see.
If you want to see a screening oh this show then please check the link here.