AFTER THE BALL
By Ian Gray.
Upstairs at the Gatehouse, Highgate Village, London N6 4BD to 24 March 2018.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm. Mat Sat 3pm. Sun 4pm.
Runs 2hr One interval.
TICKETS: 020 7565 5000
Review: William Russell 9 March.
A sprawling sage of a family at war
This story of a South London family covers the two world wars which have had a devastating impact they had on the lives of its members. William Randall (Stuart Fox) recalls the 1914-18 conflict in his old age – the horrors, the comradeship, his socialist revolutionary ideals, and the Belgian girl he fell in love with and with whom, the war over, he had a child – he stayed behind doing restoration work.
His secret impacts on his relationship with his wife, a suffragette to start with but ever more hidebound in the role of little woman as the years go by, and his Second World War daughter who is intent on living life to the full. It is bold in concept, but the plots do get confused and the fact that the wife, Blanche, remains dressed for 1914 or thereabouts while in 1945 or thereabouts makes for more confusion. Nor does the idea of letting the old William play the young William help clarity. It is a challenge for any actor, and the players, especially Mr Fox, rise to it rather well, but director Nadia Papachronopoulou has not helped them much. It is an interesting enough play, but Mr Grant having seen it staged needs to go back to the drawing board and plot things clearly so that the audience knows where it is at any given time. The acting space can be as abstract as can be but what is going on within that space must be specific. But there is no denying that the cast within the confines of the material do create believable people.
Nurse: Elizabeth Healey.
William Randall: Stuart Fix.
Albert Kerridge: Jack Bennett.
Margery: Elizabeth Healey.
Blanche Randall: Julia Watson.
Joyce Randall: Emily Tucker.
Ted Turner: Mark Carlisle.
Marguerite Lepine: Elizabeth Healey.
Monsieur Lepine: Mark Carlisle.
Director: Nadia Papachronopoulou.
Designer: Natalie Pryce.
Lighting Designer: George Bach.
Sound Designer & Composer: Chris Drohan.
Assistant Director: Hannah Sands.