By: Noel Coward
Directed by: Stephen Unwin
Venue: Rose Theatre, Kingston
Date: Thursday 7th October 2010
This was a bit disappointing. We were glad to be seeing Celia Imrie on stage, and hoped the production would be better than the one at Chichester last year, which was rather let down by Diana Rigg’s age. Celia Imrie is a better age for the lead role, but her portrayal came across as too schoolmarm-ish at times, and much too self-aware, which reduced my enjoyment somewhat. She did her best, and the rest of the production was perfectly fine with the two Bliss children being particularly good and Alexandra Galbraith giving us the sultriest vamp I’ve ever seen on stage.
The set was the usual eclectic jumble. The stairs were to the right, French windows centre back, door to the library on the left, and there was a pretty landscape visible through the windows. The effects of rain and sun were clearer at Chichester, with the sun coming out almost before the guests had finished fleeing the scene, and overall I find I preferred that production despite its flaws, but we still enjoyed ourselves well enough this afternoon. The writing is still as good, and there are plenty of lines that are almost guaranteed a laugh. I hope they do well for the rest of the run.
© 2010 Sheila Evans at ilovetheatre.me