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I find Pinter quite difficult to review, and particularly this play, as it has so many nuances, and could be taken to mean many different things, so after my initial comment I will content myself with reviewing the actors and technicals in the main.

I applaud WDS for tackling different plays and projects, it is always good to give the Society something challenging to get their teeth into - however, I do sometimes question this as writers like Pinter appeal to a very narrow audience.

The set was well-built, however I would have liked to see a bit more 'dressing' to link it to the farmhouse stated as the setting for Act 1, and the bedroom for Act 2, it was a little sterile, although I liked the artwork on the walls, especially in the bedroom scene.

The cast were excellent - no weak links, and I think they did extremely well to get the rather strange personalities of the three people involved.

I thought Sara Payne as Kate created this rather other-worldly character very well, giving some lucid moments, but also introspective and sometimes rather cunning looks and inflections. There could be many scenarios that prompted this meeting between the three protagonists, but Kate seemed the most strange of the friends (and I use that term very loosely!), with probably the most underlying problems.

Irene Morris always creates a strong character, and this was no exception in her portrayal of Anna.  I liked her interaction with Deeley, there was always an underlying tension there, and her rather at times patronising air with Kate.  A difficult part again - but nicely construed.

Robert Naylor-Stables has such enthusiasm, which communicated well with his character, but he also reined it back where required - creating an in-depth feeling of who and where his character was going.  He created a wonderful contrast to the two women, which gave the production a good dimension.

I think overall the play lacked a bit of pace at times.

The programme was very nicely put together, and liked the linking of the colour for the pages, with the colour of the walls.  Shows thought and attention to detail.

I understand this was Robin Langer's first foray into direction, and as such it was a good first shot - however it was a difficult play to do, so well done for keeping it entertaining for the most part.

An interesting production, a challenge to both cast and audience, but very well acted.

Wheathampstead Dramatic Society


Review date: 15th Feb 2014

Memorial Hall, Wheathampstead

Director: Robin Langer


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