The Glass Menagerie
24 May 2022
Duke Of York’s Theatre
4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Ah, another Tennessee Williams play! If you’ve been following me for a while, you’ll know that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Williams’ works. I did go into watching The Glass Menagerie without any prior knowledge of the material, as with most shows I see I like to go in without any expectations and let the show speak for itself.
I did expect this to be a lot more outdated and problematic than it actually was. There was some ableist content present, as one of the main characters has a disability and goes from being spoken down to and treated as if she couldn’t take care of herself due to this disability, to being blamed for letting it hold her back in life. Both of which is of course very problematic, but also the central theme of the play, so couldn’t have been taken out or amended.
The Glass Menagerie has some very interesting characters to offer. Amanda Wingfield is a single mother of two, after her husband abandoned the family and left them unsupported in a world where women had few rights and options. Her children Laura and Tom grapple with their own lives and expectations, especially Laura has a lot of pressure put on her to find a husband to take care of her, while Tom is supporting the family but would much rather just run away and live his own life, like his father did.
It’s a bit of an outdated family drama that makes me very happy to be living in a time where women have a lot more options and opportunities in this world and don’t need to lay their fate at the feet of a husband.
The Glass Menagerie is very well presented, but the problematic and outdated content did irk me personally quite a bit despite the well acted characters. I definitely enjoy newer, more modern plays a lot more.