If you think the critic's function is parasitic, wait till you hear Pirandello on actors. The writer's famed distinction between reality and illusion makes it plain, in Six Characters at least, that actors are as removed from the blood and smew of real feeling as the recording angels of the centre stalls.
The mummer's endemic shallowness is underlined by Michael Rudman's new production at the Olivier. In the original, the theatre company that we meet in the throes of rehearsing another Pirandello play, The Rules of the Game, is not obtrusively characterized....
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