Straight Line Crazy
10 May 2022
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
David Hare’s new play Straight Line Crazy sees Ralph Fiennes take on the role of Robert Moses, the man who shaped New York City more than any other.
Over five decades, Moses influenced policy makers and became the chairman of the New York State Council of Parks and eventually the New York Secretary of State. His ideas and priorities shaped the city, adding more highways, building parks and playgrounds, connecting the inner city to nature reserves and beaches. But his biggest downfall might have been his staunch belief in the auto mobile as the transportation of the future, a future in which he saw every person owning their own car. Thus he built highways and overpasses, knocking down housing projects and playgrounds to make way for more and more cars.
The play examines his deeper motives for the building policies and intricacies he enforced in the city, displacing thousands of poor, marginalised peoples to make way for cars, blocking the extension of public transport means to make way for more cars.
Straight Line Crazy starts off painting Moses as an impossible dreamer who wants to change the world for the better, working hard and shunning compromise to improve the lives of the average city dweller. But as the play unfolds, the characterization shifts and changes, exposing more and more of the underlying problems with Moses’ ideas and priorities.
An entrancing play that really brings its characters to life, nuanced and considerate, definitely a conversation starter that encourages the viewer to develop a deeper understanding of people’s motives for their actions. I very much enjoyed this play at the Bridge Theatre!