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©The Iceman Cometh 

The Iceman Cometh (1976)
Aldwych Theatre / England

Producer: RSC
Playwright: Eugene O'Neill
Cast: Norman Rodway (Harry Hope), Bob Hoskins (Rocky), Harry Towb (Ed Mosher), John Warner (Jimmy Tomorrow), Patti Love (Pearl)
Character: Larry Slade

Directed by Howard Davies

      "I knew 'em all, I've known 'em for years. All these people I have written about, I once knew. I do not think that you can write anything of value or understanding about the present. You can only write about life if it is far enough in the past. The present is too much mixed up with superficial values; you can't know which thing is important and which is not.
      The past I have chosen is the one I knew. The man who owns this saloon, Harry Hope, and all the others -- the Anarchists and Wobblies and French Syndicalists, the broken men, the tarts, the bartenders and even the saloon itself -- are real. It's not just one place, perhaps, but it is several places that I lived in at one time or another, places I once knew put together in one.
      What I have done with this setting? Well, I've tried to show the inmates of Harry Hope's saloon there with their dreams... You ask what is the significance, what do these people mean to us today? Well, all I can say is that it is a play about pipe dreams. And the philosophy is that there is always one dream left, one final dream, no matter how low you have fallen, down there at the bottom of the bottle. I know, because I saw it."

          -- Eugene O'Neill



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