SWEET REVENGE: Durbridge, Theatre Royal Nottingham till 13th August


SWEET REVENGE: Fancis Durbridge.
Theatre Royal: Tkts 0115 989 5555 www.royalcentre-nottingham.co.uk.
Runs: 2h 20m: one interval: till 13th August.
Performance times: 7.30pm weekdays and 8.00pm Sat (Matinees 2.00pm Weds and 5.00pm Sat).
Review: Alan Geary: 8th August 2011.

This is enjoyable stuff.
It’s that time of the year again. Along with the wind and rain the Thriller Season is back in Nottingham for four weeks.

Sweet Revenge lacks the complexity of most Francis Durbridge. And although it’s set in that playwright’s trademark Home Counties – by the Thames near Marlow no less – there are some decidedly down-market ideas running round in the play.

Even Soho and heroin get a mention.

On Geoff Gilder’s immaculate drawing room set that faithful settee’s back in its rightful position on stage, somewhat left of centre. And a scandalously well-used drinks stand is well up-stage left.

One character – it would be giving too much away to say more – is such a bounder(ess) that almost everyone else in the play has ample motive to do him/her in. Right up to the end you’re left wondering whodunit.

It’s the seventies but costumes, also by Gilder, are not overdone here: flares are admirably restrained; check is kept well in check.

Nevertheless the ever delightful Jo Castleton, as Fay Marquand, gets to wear some cracking numbers; and so does Karen Henson, (Marian Palmer). The latter starts with a preposterous black and orange outfit – frock spotters will remember it from a previous outing of this play back in 2006. From this she graduates, by way of bright green, to a brighter yellow.

To complement her flamboyant character Henson has an accent that seems to slide in and out of French or possibly East European. The two best performances are probably those of Ben Roddy, back after a long break as Ross Marquand, and Jeremy Lloyd Thomas as Julian Kane, who despite the name is meant to be Danish.

Ross actually picks up the phone and says something like “Ah Diana, Ross speaking.” Kane, who this time round has white hair, sports a breast-pocket handkerchief with such an exaggerated over-hang that it almost reaches down to the floor.

This is enjoyable stuff.

Judy Hilton: Susan Earnshaw.
Alan Wells: Chris Sheridan.
Marian Palmer: Karen Henson.
Ross Marquand: Ben Roddy.
Sam Kennedy: Nicholas Briggs.
Bill York: John Hester.
Fay Marquand: Jo Castleton.
Julian Kane: Jeremy Lloyd Thomas.
Norman Sanders: Al Naed.

Director: Patric Kearns.
Set and Costume Designer: Geoff Gilder.
Lighting: Michael Donoghue.
Sound Designer: Patric Kearns.

2011-08-11 09:33:55

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