June 23, 2013 matinee performance reviewed by Frances Benn Hall
Heroes, the translation by Tom Stoppard of Le Vent Des Peupliers by Gérald Sibleyras, was enough to lure me to a matinee at Shakespeare and Company’s Bernstein theatre on a rainy afternoon. I knew nothing about the play except that several friends whose opinions I valued had urged me to see it. Thinking back I realize none of the friends had told me why, beyond the generalities.
The cast is top-notch, three actors who all have been with the company, playing leads for the past 20 years, Jonathan Epstein, Malcolm Ingram, and Robert Lohbauer. And Kevin Coleman, who directed, has been with the company turning out gems since it began here in the Berkshires many years go. All impeccable and deserve hurrahs.
The setting of the play is the terrace of a retirement home for veterans of World War I but three men have been there until the time of the play’s present 1959. The acting occurs on the terrace….at the back are 5 great French windows and one thinks that this will be a farce with doors swinging back and forth but only one door ever opens. An added member to the cast is a huge 200 pound German Wolfhound dog.
(And backstage are formidable NUNS!)
And off in the distance are poplar trees to which the original title of the play refers – “Le Vent des Peupliers” by Gerald Sibleyras. The wind in those poplars fuels what happens in the play. HEROES may just be the most moving play you see all summer.