Theatre Royal, Nottingham
Runs: 2h 5m: one interval: till 24 August
An engrossing piece of entertainment.
The Colin McIntyre Classic Thriller Season at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal ends on a high. Dangerous Obsession starts with the attractive Sally Driscoll (Angie Smith in a finely judged performance) clearly alone in the house – she’s dressed in a sensational swimsuit and watering some houseplants. A man called Barrett (Michael Sherwin) turns up at the door with a bulky briefcase, claiming to know Sally but wishing to see her husband. Double glazing perhaps, or something more sinister? – Sherwin makes him simultaneously half-man/half-rabbit, and dreary, prudish and creepy with it.
What with the visit of an unknown stranger, the play has a hint of An Inspector Calls about it. The cast have a taut, fractured and psychologically interesting script to work with. Considering its wordiness, and the way it manages to sound oddly realistic, it ought already to have been broadcast on Radio 4.
Sherwin totally convinces as Barrett. Besides the prudishness, there’s all that nervous sexual suggestion aimed at, but well fielded by, Sally. Husband Mark (Mark Huckett in his third appearance in a Thriller Season), who appears a bit later, is everything that Barrett apparently is not, a well-oiled, self-satisfied go-getter in braces. But before the final curtain we’ve learned a great deal more about him.
It’s a nice 80s set design, with a drink stand used with increasing frequency and enthusiasm by the Driscolls – G and Ts are the favourite tipple, especially for Sally. And David Gilbrook’s background sound incorporates some great cello music at the start.
This isn’t such a comic comic-thriller as previous plays this season, but with Karen Henson again directing, it’s an engrossing piece of entertainment – and it’s about to go on tour.
Sally Driscoll: Angie Smith
John Barrett: Michael Sherwin
Mark Driscoll: Mark Huckett
Director: Karen Henson
Set and Lighting Design: Duncan Hands
Sound Design: David Gilbrook