I saw the 1985 revival of Saved, directed by Danny Boyle at the Royal Court Theatre, a portentous and sluggish affair compared to Bart DeLorenzo‘s pulsating rendition for Evidence Room. Ann Closs-Farley’s costumes insist the play is of an era, while DeLorenzo‘s abstractions insist it’s not. The exposed metal base and freestanding bare walls that represent Pam‘s flat are offset by a kind of lyrical grandeur when those walls are removed, exposing the theater’s cavernous stage for a lake scene in which Pam and Len recline in a boat. A huge, bare stage (set by Jason Adams) can say a lot about isolation and proportion.
The ensemble has settled in nicely since the production opened last year. Leffler‘s Len and Ingham’s Pam have been able to weave far more delicate threads of nonverbal interplay over time, though Ingham‘s dialect still wobbles when Pam goes psycho. Leffler is close to perfect, though when he gets a rise out of stitching a stocking for Pam’s mum while she‘s still in it (here, Gordon resembles an elfin twig), you do have to wonder what’s going on with this boy. His manic laugh reveals Len‘s glee and awkwardness over his initial liaison with Pam, and Ingham’s display of muted contempt for the sexual act, masked by good cheer, is painfully true. Meanwhile, Offerman, Mark Salamon, Leo Marks, Dylan Kenin and Adrian A. Cruz combine into a nuanced chorus of thugs, uncovering the scared child behind every bully, the terror behind the swagger.