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The thing I miss most about live theater is seeing shows in small houses, sitting in the midst of happy audiences who know they’re watching something special. For me, one of the off-Broadway troupes that best satisfies this craving is the Mint Thearer Company, which specializes in unjustly forgotten 20th-century plays. The works they choose, no matter how obscure, are always worthy of revival, and their finely wrought small-scale productions make the strongest possible case for the plays.
Imagine my delight, then, when the Mint announced earlier this year that it’s been stockpiling broadcast-ready three-camera archival videos of its productions since 2013, and that it plans to brighten up pandemic life by webcasting several of them while New York’s theaters remain closed. The latest one, Miles Malleson’s “Conflict,” was taped during a live performance at the 99-seat Beckett Theatre in 2018. I saw it then and reviewed it with great enthusiasm in this space. Now that I’ve watched the show with earphones on my laptop—an experience directly comparable in intimacy to seeing it at the Beckett—I can confirm that my first impression was on the mark: “Conflict” is an outstanding play, and the Mint’s production, directed by Jenn Thompson, was and is platinum-plated….
“Conflict” is a most unusual piece of work. It’s a highly political play—Malleson was a passionate advocate of socialism and, later, a Communist fellow traveler—that sounds for much of its length like a drawing-room comedy….
* * *Read the whole thing here.
An introduction to the Mint Theater Company: