Sean Teller 's Reviews > The Vertical Hour

The Vertical Hour by David Hare
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's review
Jan 31, 2011

it was amazing
Read in January, 2011

A complex story which examines the fragile dynamics between father and son, son and girlfriend, girlfriend and father, and relationships in general. A story of love, and how interchangeable feelings sometimes do not co-align.

A father (Oliver) unchanged in his promiscuous ways, floats through life unwilling to change his hurtful attitudes towards his son. Two opposite people whose only common thread is their blood. Each out in their own and unintentional ways to destroy each other.

A son chained to love. Chained to his ideas of what love should be and the rules he applies to said love. Very much like his mother, Phillip embodies the line "it is harder to let go." In the end it's the entangled relationship he has with his father that destroys his current relationship to Nadia.

A girlfriend thrown from the fields of the Iraq war, and emotionally torn from a passionate yet unstable love find solitude in the arms of Phillip. As she calls it a quieter love. Though it's this quieter love that should be her undoing. A free spirit, the weight of domesticated life pushes down on her forcing her to escape, be it in the perhaps waiting arms of her boyfriend's father or back to a life on the battlefields of Iraq.

A study on conflicting personalities and the relationships that they find involved in. A well written play, perhaps a little obtuse. The interaction between the three characters while well developed perhaps could have been expanded upon with the addition of Phillip's mother. We only hear her perspective on her failed marriage through the eyes of her son and ex-husband. Though her own words perhaps could have filled in the missing gaps left behind from her son's and ex-husbands own interpretation of destructive relationship she had with Oliver.

In short a play I would highly recommend. It is a quick read and a pleasant way to spend a afternoon.


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