I can’t deny, like many others my presence in The Playhouse Theatre was largely down to the name Lindsay Lohan being plastered outside. I went to summer camp with Lindsay, battled through high school with her and even once helped her sneak into a Stu Wolff concert. In a bizarre way that is so common in the celebrity age, I feel a connection to a woman I have never met. So therefore I was willing her to succeed in her stage debut, to prove to the lined up critics that she can do it.
Speed The Plow is a somewhat classic Mamet play; with fast paced overlapping dialogue and a miniscule yet hugely philosophical plot. Lindsay Lohan stars alongside Richard Schiff and Nigel Lindsay in a take on Hollywood. As the two production heavyweights, Schiff and Lindsay have a brisk and misogynistic banter between them, both outdoing the other in shouting and swearing. The repetition in Mamet’s script would leave many actors floored, forgetting where they are in the rhythmic dialogue but Schiff and Lindsay kept up and barely faltered.
Lindsay Lohan appears on stage as the temporary secretary, Karen. We’re told she’s ditzy and barely capable of finding the coffee machine and at first she does little to dissuade the audience of this. However, as the character finds her feet and ultimately becomes the focus of the plot, Lohan’s acting comes into its own. Her movements may be a little small for stage, but her voice projects and the emotions were well conveyed. The overlapping dialogue sometimes left Lohan with a slight break between lines but other than that, she was barely distinguishable from her seasoned stage colleagues.
A wave of pity came over me when Lohan’s character asks “may I have another drink?” and the audience give a knowing chuckle at Lohan’s past. She’s not there as a media figure, or to be a car crash on stage, she’s there as an actress, developing her craft and doing so well. Cruising through the minefield of Mamet’s dialogue, Lindsay Lohan has well and truly proven herself to me. So if you manage to see Speed the Plow this week (it closes on the 29th November), don’t go in there with anything less than a willing and open mind. You might be surprised.