Tickets: Salisbury Tourist Information Centre, Fish Row, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP1 1EJ Phone: 01722 342860
The Fine Times Recorder says
The heart of the play is a clash of wills, sometimes mirrored by a powerful physical reaction. In the film, the attraction/ repulsion between Vivien Leigh and Marlon Brandon was the fulcrum. In Tamsin Jacson’s production for Studio Theatre in Salisbury, Sam Luckman’s Blanche and Terry D’Onofrio’s Stanley have all the hostility and disdain, but their conflict is based on physical and emotional strength rather than sexual chemistry.
Here is a needy, manipulative and proud woman who feels that her sister’s husband is an inferior being, and treats him accordingly. He is streetwise and very strong, slyly accumulating evidence of Blanche’s true life in Laurel.
Stew Taylor gives another mesmerising and multi-layered performance as Mitch, with Laura Melville as Stella, a woman who has found her own balance within her marriage.
The production brings the audience into the sultry heat of New Orleans before the “curtain” goes up, the stage cleverly set by designer Colin Hayman and his team, accompanied by music specially composed by Dorset musician Rupert Egerton-Smith.
The play is a lastingly relevant look at power balances, at truth and at false witness, and it ends in the violence and isolation which are the only possible conclusions.
I’m not certain that the briefly-mentioned updating (Iraq rather than the WW2 of the original play or Korean war of the film) adds to the story, though it does explain the wheelie suitcase and the push-button phone.
The Studio Theatre company gives powerful and chilling performances, bringing Williams’s characters to often frightening life. It continues until Saturday.
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