THE FAT MAN’s WIFE
by Tennessee Williams.
Canal Cafe Theatre The Bridge House Delamere Terrace Little Venice W2 6ND To 28 February 2014.
20-22,27,28 February 7.30pm 23 February 7pm.
Runs 1hr No interval.
TICKETS: 0207 289 6054.
Review: William Russell 16 February.
Tennessee Treasure Trove.
They keep finding new short plays by Tennessee Williams and this one, getting its British premier, discovered among his papers held at the University of Texas, is a marvel; a slight, incisive tale of an encounter between a married woman and a young man who wants to sweep her off her feet.
It is interesting because it was written long before the likes of Sweet Bird of Youth and Orpheus Descending. Vera, played superbly by Emma Taylor, is trapped in a marriage gone stale to the Fat Man of the title, equally well done by Richard Stephenson Winter. Dennis – Damien Hughes, all callow passion and blind to reality – is a young writer she has met at a party. He wants to take her away; will Vera, still beautiful but just on the cusp of ageing, succumb to temptation or stay in the world she knows with a husband with whom she rubs along?
As she says to the boy, she is old enough, she won’t say to be his mother, but at least his mother’s youngest sister. Drafted in 1937, this is Williams starting out and well worth seeing in its own right as well as for the light it shows on what is yet to come. Will she go, will she stay? Go find out.
Vera Cartwright: Emma Taylor.
Joe Cartwright: Richard Stephenson Winter.
Dennis Merriwether: Damien Hughes.
Director: Russell Lucas.
Assistant director: Annie Harris.