By: J B Priestley
Directed by: Ian Dickens
Company: Ian Dickens Productions
Venue: Connaught Theatre
Date: Tuesday 5th June 2007
This was a reasonably good production, by Connaught standards. Unlike the previous version we saw in London, the set was very 1930s, with bookcases, old leather chairs, and fire seats. Unfortunately, they were having technical problems tonight (first night in Worthing), and so we were late getting in, and the music was also late to arrive, most notably when the musical cigarette box stayed stubbornly silent during the reprise of the opening scene. The radio also came on seconds after everyone turned to look at it. Very embarrassing.
Despite these difficulties, the performances were OK, and I still enjoyed the gradual unravelling of the plot. I forgot to get one of the audio machines tonight, so I did miss some of the dialogue, mostly during the opening scene when everyone seemed muted, but Shirley Anne Field was definitely underpowered. The reprise actually seemed louder – perhaps they’d got up a good head of steam by then. Of course, with the lack of music on cue, the sense of a different outcome was considerably weakened – I’m sure they’ll be working to get rid of those glitches asap.
I particularly liked Georgina Sutton as Frieda, the wife who’s still in love with dead Martin, as she got across both good manners and obsessive passion, with a nice line in bitching as well. Everyone else was up to scratch, and if only the audience had been better (hearing aid twittering, loud coughing, fidgeting, snoring, etc), we’d have enjoyed ourselves a lot more.
© 2007 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me