Quantum Theatre's Parlour Song Giveaway

Published On November 4, 2013 | By Jeff Ihaza | The Arts

parlour songParlour Song, the latest play from Pittsburgh’s Quantum Theatre, is a powerful production in perhaps the most multifaceted way. The play is being staged at the former Pittsburgh Burger Company in the Waterfront, whose intimate setting make even the most subtle nuances of the actors’ performances come to life.

The play, adapted from the British playwright Jez Butterworth’s script, is directed by local Actor and Director Martin Giles. The story follows three characters in a suburb of England as a marriage collapses and the mind of the central character, Ned, slowly degrades into nothingness.


“Everything is disappearing” he says under his breath in the opening act.

Ned, a demolition specialist, is himself an arbiter of destruction. In the play, he mentions assignments to demolish everything from children’s hospitals to shopping centers–all for the sake of modernization and comfort. “Out with the old,” he says to his wife, Joy, when he tells her about a plan to destroy a popular shopping center.


As the story unfolds we find that it is more than buildings that come down. Ned’s neighbor Dale–who offers a few of the play’s brighter spots of humor–becomes entangled in Ned’s marriage. Dale simultaneously plays amateur therapist for Ned, who hasn’t slept properly in weeks as he finds his items mysteriously vanishing. At the center of it all is the aptly named wife of Ned, Joy, whose mysterious allure makes psychoanalysis of the play’s male characters a dizzying task.


The themes of suburban isolation and the problems that arise with excessive comforts are perhaps more scathing when presented to American audiences. The eery similarities between the British adulterers in Parlour Song and the actions in a show like Desperate Housewives point a mirror at humanity at large, questioning what we truly strive for in life and why.



The production opened November 1st and runs to November 24th. Tickets can be purchased online, and we’re also giving away a pair to the November 13th showing. Enter to win a pair of tickets below, because you can’t beat free. We’ll pick a winner Friday, so keep an eye on your inboxes!


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