THE YOUNG VISITERS
by Daisy Ashford adapted by Mary Franklin.
The Tabard Theatre To 26 03 16
2 Bath Road, London W4 to 26 March 2016.
Tues-Sat 7.30pm. Mat Sat 4pm. Extra performance 21 March 7.30pm.
Runs 90 mins No interval.
TICKETS: 020 8995 6035.
Review: William Russell 10 March.
A delightful visit to make.
Daisy Ashford wrote her celebrated book about Mr Salteena and Ethel, the woman he loved in vain, aged 9 around 1890 but it was not published until 1919. Daisy was a precocious child who read widely and her misspelt, but deliciously frank, view of adult behaviour has rightly become a classic. Mary Franklin’s adaptation retains all its charm although the tale does sag a little midway through.
But the five strong cast approach their roles with just the necessary delicacy of touch – wrongly done it could be twee and ghastly. It is anything but with Marianne Chase delivering a gloriously mercenary Ethel Monticue, the farmer’s daughter with social aspirations whom the lanky Mr Salteena, a very elderly gent of 42 according to Daisy, loves and loses to the dishy Lord Bernard Clark, who has nice long legs.
As Salteena Jake Curran makes a splendidly weedy will always be a bachelor and his shelling and eating of a hard boiled egg for breakfast is astonishing to watch. There is a delightful set consisting of lots of curtains and a pretty pagoda mid stage – it looks like something conjured up in the drawing room of the kind of family whose children stage plays – which serves as Salteena’s home, the Gaiety Hotel where goings on take place, and Buckingham Palace to which Ethel and Salteena are taken by a friendly Earl to meet the Prince of Wales.
The cast –
Miss Ethel Monticue: Marianne Chase.
Mr Salteena: Jake Curran.
Everyone else: Andrew Brock, Sophie Crawford, Jordan-Mallory-Skinner & Geordie Wright,
The voice of young Daisy: Sophie Baggott.
Director: Mary Franklin.
Set Designer: Christopher Hone.
Lighting Designer: Seth Rook Williams.
Sound Designer: Jordan Mallory-Skinner.
Costume Designer: Carin Nakanishi.