by Luigi Pirandello adapted by Howard Colyer.
Brockley Jack Studio 410 Brockley Road SE4 2DH To 30 January 2016.
Runs 1hr 10min No interval.
TICKETS: 0333 666 3366.
Review: William Russell 14 January.
A death, a lie and a newspaper story.
Howard Colyer has translated the action of Pirandello’s play from Rome in the 1920s to 1970s London. The change does the drama no disservice as it is set in a world which has not changed all that much over the decades. (Relocating it to today would pose all sorts of problems).
It is about Ersilia Drei (Josephine Rattigan), a young nursemaid who has had a nervous collapse after the child she should have been looking after is killed in an accident while she was being seduced by her employer. Her story appears in the newspapers and a novelist, Lewis Nota played by Declan Cooke, seeks her out in hospital, fascinated by her situation. He has sex and s story in mind.
A tangled web of lies and half truths ensue, involving the distraught Ersilia, the besotted Nota, her faithless employer, a former lover and the cynical journalist responsible for the story by which they are all affected. Each one around her wants Ersilia’s story to be what they wish, not what they read in the papers, while she simply wants to escape from the awful responsibility for the child’s death.
Like all Pirandello’s work Naked is tricky to stage and Colyer’s version has its problems – bringing the characters together requires some suspension of belief and some of the casting is less than ideal. However it is efficiently directed by Roberta Zuric.
Josephine Rattigan is touching as the hapless victim of circumstances, and Jean Apps as Note’s suspicious landlady – why has he brought this young woman clearly in trouble back to his somewhat dingy lodgings if it is not just to have his way with her? – delivers a nice comic turn.
Mr Grant: Sam Adamson.
Mrs Hood: Jean Apps.
Lewis Nota: Declan Cooke.
Francesca Cantavale: Victoria Hamnett.
Frank Last: Piers Hunt.
Ersilia Drei: Josephine Rattigan.
Director: Roberta Zuric.
Designer: Sarah June Mills.
Lighting: Michael Edwards.
Sound: Philip Matejtschuk.
Associate director: Zoe Thomas-Webb.