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The Old Neighborhood (1998)


A play by David Mamet, performed at the Royal Court Theatre Downstairs, London: 17 June (opened 23 June) - 10 August 1998

Performance length: 1 hour and 20 minutes


The Old Neighborhood image #1

With thanks to Natalie for this autographed flier, publicising The Old Neighborhood.


The Old Neighborhood consists of three interlinked works - 'The Disappearance of the Jews', 'Jolly', and 'Deeny' - about family drama and conflict between the generations. 

Returning to his hometown in the Chicago suburbs, Bobby seeks respite from marital strife.  There his encounters with faces from the past (best friend Joey, sister Jolly, and Deeny, the woman he could have married) bring little relief.  Bobby instead finds himself called on to support those he left behind.  For his sister, that means confronting the siblings' unequal treatment at the hands of their mother and step-father.


Linal Haft ... Joey

Diana Quick ... Deeny

Colin Stinton ... Bobby

Zoë Wanamaker ... Jolly


Director: Patrick Marber
Designer: William Dudley


This was the European premiere production of The Old Neighborhood, following a Broadway run with a different cast (as reported by Whatsonstage.com).

Theatre critic Charles Spencer called Zoë's portrayal of Jolly 'a fascinating modern companion piece to her recent, acclaimed performance as Electra', the Ancient Greek heroine.  Jolly, like Electra, displays fierce anger and resentment, having been poorly treated by her mother and step-father, and encourages her brother to confront the problem.

Zoe starred in another fiery David Mamet play, Boston Marriage, in 2001.

Press coverage

'Zoë Wanamaker is outstanding as the sister, racked by rage and remembered resentments', enthused Shaun Usher, writing for the Daily MailThe Telegraph's Charles Spencer agreed, remarking that she 'is in terrific form as the far-from-jolly Jolly'.  Zoe's performance, 'iron and velvet by turns, is particularly appealing', wrote Nicholas de Jongh in the Evening Standard.  As Robert Butler of the Independent concluded, 'Wanamaker and Stinton put themselves straight into the awards categories' with their impressive performances in The Old Neighborhood.


David Mamet Plays: Cryptogram, Oleanna, The Old Neighborhood by David Mamet

Related links

The Old Neighborhood production photos - TopFoto (search the website using the keywords 'Old', 'Zoe', and 'Wanamaker' to view images)

The Old Neighborhood production photo - Corbis Images (search the website using the keywords 'Zoe', 'Wanamaker', and 'Neighborhood' to view image)

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