Magazine article Newsweek

Skylight

Magazine article Newsweek

Skylight

Article excerpt

Playwright David Hare gets personal in 'Skylight'

When TOM SERGEANT BARGES into Kyra Hollis's sloppy, freezing London apartment one winter night, the first thing she tells him is she's not guilty of an thing. "Not guilty? What do you mean?" Tom asks. "You arrived like a f---ing storm trooper!" Kyra replies. Tom (Michael Gambon) is the kind of self-made businessman--big car, big voice, big pinkie ring--who struts around like he owns the world. Kyra (Lia Williams) was a young waitress at one of his restaurants who became a family friend, and then something more;- before walking out of his life. Halfway through Act I of David Hare's moving new Broadway play, Skylight, it's still not clear what their relationship was or will become, now that she's a poor teacher and he's a recent widower. Tom and Kyra aren't entirely sure themselves. Perhaps that's because their future rests on the few commodities Tom can't buy, like forgiveness and understanding. And then there's the guilt.

There are three characters, one room and fewer than 24 hours spanned in "Skylight." Yet Hare turns this chamber-size play into a world of clashing souls. One of Britain's most political writers, Hare usually works on a broad canvas, whether the subject is the decline of the church ("Racing Demon"). or the postwar crisis of morality ("Plenty"). There are big ideas stomping around "Skylight," too. Kyra is a bleedingheart Labourite; Tom is from the Thatcher school of bare-knuckled competition. …

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