TEA AT FIVE: Matthew Lombardo
Indefatigable Productions at The Old Joint Stock Birmingham
(The show is intermittently touring)
Review: Alexander Ray, Old Joint Stock, 14 09 12
Intriguing, enjoyable, informative.
TEA AT FIVE offers the magic combination of being both informative and enjoyable. Could there possibly be anyone in any of Indefatigable’s audiences who doesn’t know who Katharine Hepburn is? So it’s a real pleasure to come out from the show knowing that you know more about Heburn than you knew before.
In the show we see Hepburn at two points in her life; first awaiting the call to offer her Scarlet O’Hara (which, of course, never came), in part two, much later in life, just as she is showing the first signs of Parkinson’s. Hepburn comes across as a complex and self-contained individual – not always likeable, but always full of vigour and determination.
Meg Lloyd does well capturing the two ages of the character – particularly the physicality of the older Hepburn. As the younger woman she looks brilliant with the pale face, pencilled eyebrows and fierce red lips. I’d like to see Lloyd relax more in the first half, giving the show more time to breathe and allowing more of the humour to come through. Lloyd capture the brittleness well and the sharp-tongued one-liners and put-downs are a bitchy delight. In the second half Lloyd draws us into Hepburn’s world, ensuring we empathise with the star, but refusing, somehow, to be patronised by sympathy. The performance is a true tour de force.
Chris Wraysford directs; a fine credit to put on his developing CV.
Katharine Hepburn: Meg Lloyd
Directed by: Chris Wraysford