by Jean Paul Sartre
Rosemary Branch Theatre 2 Shepperton Road N1 3DT To 2 February 2014.
7.30pm 25, 28, 30 January, 1 Feb.
6pm 26 Jan, 2 Feb.
Runs 1hr 35min No interval.
TICKETS: 0207 704 6665.
Review: William Russell 23 January.
Stimulating account from the lower depths.
This production of Sartre’s famous play about hell being other people is apparently likely to be the last UK Show by Second Skin Theatre. Judging by Andy McQuade’s production this is a pity because the play works splendidly.
Confined in a windowless room a man and two women confront the fact that they are dead and are in hell, not a place of hellfire, whips and chains, but of the torment of having to get along with strangers one does not like and from which there is, it would seem, no escape.
It is a powerful piece and oddly benefits from the casting because all too often it is one of those plays which get an all-star cast displaying their virtuosity. Here the relatively unfamiliar faces of the players makes what is happening all the more gripping to watch as one is not seeing Dame X or Sir Y or film star Z strutting their stuff but people who could you or me or the person in the next seat.
George Collie is impressive as the journalist who may be a coward and who may or may not have stood up to the dictatorial regime running his country. He gets admirable support from Eloise Black and Charly Flyte as the two women confined with him, the brainless dolly-bird killer Estelle and the deeply sinister Ines.
And there is a neat little cameo from Sam Watson as the Waiter, the sinister person who brings them in to their hell. It is not a bundle of laughs by any standards, but equally it is not depressing. Rather it is thought-provoking, a stimulating show worth catching.
Garcin: George Collie.
Estelle: Eloise Black.
Ines: Charly Flyte.
Waiter: Sam Watson.
Director: Andy McQuade.
Designer: Helena Trebar.
Lighting/Sound: Luca Romagnoli.