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July 9, 2012

Mamet Speak – Paige Phillips

Paige Phillips is a student at the University of Western Ontario who recently came to Soulpepper for an internship in our Communications Department. In this post, Paige talks about David Mamet’s distinct writing style that many refer to as “Mamet Speak”.

This post contains coarse language.

Playwright David Mamet is known for his fast paced, edgy dialogue; a style that can be found in many of his plays, including Glengarry Glen Ross, the play for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. Mamet’s stories reveal the conversations held behind closed doors; cynical, street-smart and almost always vulgar. Mamet’s Speed-the-Plow, now on stage at Soulpepper, is no exception. Offering all the distinctive features of what has come to be known as Mamet speak, Speed-the-Plow‘s script is clever, full of quick talking characters, and displays the ruthless nature of Hollywood and its movie industry. Read an excerpt from Speed-the-Plow to see what we mean.

Speed-the-Plow – Scene One, pg. 20-21

Gould: The question, your crass question: how much money could we stand to make…?

Fox: Yes.

Gould: I think the operative concept here is “lots and lots…”

Fox: Oh, maan…

Gould: Great big jolly shitloads of it.

Fox: Oh, maan…

Gould: But money…

Fox: Yeah.

Gould: Money, Charl…

Fox: Yeah…

Gould: Money is not the important thing.

Fox: No.

Gould: Money is not Gold.

Fox: No.

Gould: What can you do with Money?

Fox: Nothing.

Gould: Nary a goddamn thing.

Fox: …I’m gonna be rich.

Gould: “Buy” things with it.

Fox: Where would I keep them?

Gould: What would you do with them?

Fox: Yeah.

Gould: Take them out and dust them, time to time.

Fox: Oh yeah.

Gould: I piss on money.

Fox: I know that you do. I’ll help you.

Gould: Fuck money.

Fox: Fuck it. Fuck “things” too…

Gould: Uh huh. But don’t fuck “people.”

Fox: No.

Gould: Cause, people, Charlie…

Fox: People…yes.

Gould: Are what it’s All About.