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Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter – The Play: A review

Some prefer music, some prefer books. We know that. But what about theaters?

We, the Englisch LK classes, visited an adaptation of the crime novel “Crooked Letter Crooked Letter” written by Tom Franklin.

The play deals with the loner Larry Ott, who is the main suspect of two murder cases. In focus is his relationship with the black constable Silas Jones.

At least this is so in the novel, not so much in the play, which focuses more on the criminal aspect of the story. The development of the friendship between young Silas and Larry is squished to fit into a few scenes. It is mostly used to explain Silas’ further behavior in the story line. Not only this topic comes short, but also the entire ending of the book, finishing off the play with a cliffhanger.

Regarding the characters themselves, the quality of their depiction varies widely. Silas´ portrayal is more to be loud and harsh, in contrast to the rather calm character described in the novel, who prefers keeping secrets to himself. Carl’s, adult Larry’s and Wallace’s characters were executed quite realistically. The actors conveyed their struggles with social norms convincingly and portrayed the image you get when reading the book.

Despite the mentioned flaws, we still recommend seeing the play, since it is a good representation of the plot and the technical execution such as lights and accents matched the atmosphere of the story. It has definitely helped us obtaining an overview over the whole story.

Text: Vianne, Lorenz & Pelin