Robinson's set design for this production was a clever combination of
cut-away walls, boxed-off areas for the kitchen and bedroom and an
excellent replica of an old gas fire.
play, by Terence Rattigan, deals with strong emotions, scandals that had
serious effects within its 1952 setting and the claustrophobia of
has a growing reputation for such demanding drama, which has been
building since its debut in November, 2003.
there is a cast of eight, the lion's share of the lines are spoken
by Hester Collyer - who left her husband almost, we discover,
on an instant's decision, to go to
Hester as the centre, so all the other characters circle round her and
Ms Gollop proved a lynch pin.
from the whole cast were good. Judy Abbott was the caring gossip of a
landlady who fussed about putting things in order. Living in the same
block of flats are Philip and Ann Welch, whose actions start the play.
Both were initially a little slow but got going as their first-night
nerves melted away. Becky Owen made a
timid wife of Ann, curious about her neighbour. Arron Wright's
clipped BBC vowels were perfect for the part of Philip and his slightly
shallow character gained depth as he returned to Hester as Freddie's
messenger to collect his bags.
de Dadelson made the perfect Mr Miller - enigmatic, practical and
caring. He dealt with Miller's own secret with calm acceptance.
is the husband whom Hester leaves for Freddie. John Talbot brought
sincerity and a sort of withheld pleading to the role and also stepped
in to co-direct with Denis Steer. Too busy, perhaps, to have a haircut,
the length of which was wholly out-of-character for the 1950s. And he a
Gollop brought little-boy-lost appeal to the part of Freddie Page -
almost growing up, but not quite. As a drunk I was not totally convinced
he had downed the best part of a bottle of scotch, but his timing for
his final farewell was perfect
Jackson is one of Freddie's old RAF buddies and Malcolm Buckoke showed
him as having matured since leaving the airfield.
were well researched and props apt, apart from the modern telephone book
which stood out like a sore thumb.
niggles cannot, however, detract from the powerful drama presented so
ably by Chase.