Paul Johnson | 09 Sep 2011 16:44pm
J B Priestley is generally regarding as a hardy playwright – years later his plays still hold a valid social message and entertain audiences of any age. An Inspector Calls is testament to this. Dangerous Corner is one such play. One can immerse themselves in the glamour and decadence of the era: the tinkling conversation, the beautiful dresses and the glamorous companions. The age of the play becomes irrelevant and the message it might be trying to portray still comes across clearly. Having seen other Priestley productions, I think the audience view performances today with a much lighter frame of mind. Known primarily as a dramatist, his idea was to gather all the ideas a book might encompass into the short, condensed medium of plays. There were a fair few giggles at the show, some I’m sure were not as the author intended but it is an amusing piece. I was glad to see some of the more provoking lines said with aplomb. I was pleased to see that yet again Southside Players had come up trumps. They make the most of the three-quarter round that their venue has and again provided a set that not only served its purpose perfectly, looked great too. The authentic Art Deco furniture reeked of the class and decadence that the Caplans would have been endeavouring to emulate. The only problem with the spread out set is that little things, like using the ashtrays for the constant stream of cigarettes, were forgotten about by most of the cast. A small quibble but it’s the little things! The interesting use of rewind was a fitting opening and for those that were new to the play, provided an exciting introduction. Although its meaning is not explained until Act 3, it sets the tone for the play. I am sure Health and Safety would have a fit, but I liked the originality. After a few lines, the alternative script became apparent. I know this was done for American audiences (who even were treated to different names as it was felt Caplan was not a suitable surname?!) but I am not sure if it actually added anything to the production. The actors all portrayed their differing characters well. The personalities of the family members are so contrasting it adds to the interaction. Each of these were thoughtfully interpreted and the audience were left feeling apathy, dislike and pity where required. Yet again Rhys Harris showed us his effective stage presence with his portrayal of ‘Charles Stanton’. He has a great ability to embody the roles he undertakes, convincing the audience. I also found Amy Rose’s ‘Betty Whitehouse’ thoroughly annoying. But then she is meant to be, so another successful portrayal. The other actors were all good. There was some good use of stillness and quiet agony from the main ladies – Julia Berridge and Nicky Jackson (‘Olwen Peel’ and ‘Freda Caplan’). Southside are auditioning Blood Wedding next week – another family in crisis. I am sure it will be another successful show for them in October. I am off to make some sandwiches!
- : admin
- : 03/06/2011