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Show Review-Noel Coward’s Tonight At 8.30

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Theatre Royal Brighton

Wed 16 – Sat 19 Jul

Eves 7.45pm

Thu mat 2.30pm

Sat 12.30pm & 4pm

Tonight at 8.30 I80A8738

 The English Touring Theatre and Nuffield production opened at Theatre Royal Brighton on Wednesday 16th July and runs until Saturday 19th.

Blanche McIntyre, winner of the UK Theatre Award for Best Director (2013), directs an ensemble cast in Noël Coward’s TONIGHT AT 8.30, the first major UK revival of this collection of nine one act plays since Coward starred in them in 1936.

The nine short plays set in 1930’s  can either be seen in trios or as a whole.

Last night we were treated to trio 2 entitled Dinner.

The first play of this trio is called Ways and Means and set in a bedroom of a house party in Villa Zephyre on  the Cote d’Azur. The couple Mr  Toby and Mrs Stella Cartwright played by Gyuri Sarossy and Kirsty Besterman  are broke having lost all their money gambling and blaming each other for their misfortune. Just as they think it is all over and they will have to face the humiliation of borrowing off their hostess an unexpected turn of events leads to a thrilling conclusion.

Fumed Oak is a dark little number of 1930’s class snobbery. It’s a lower class family scene consisting of four-husband, wife, school age daughter and her mother and portrays their lives of drudgery. It builds to a climatic row with the husband accusing his wife of using pregnancy as a means of entrapment. Perhaps difficult for the modern audience although they did pick up on and laugh at the underlying humour in places. Peter Singh plays the husband with Olivia Poulet as his wife.

Tonight at 8.30  C31B5163The third and longest play was Still Life. Set in a station café, probably called canteen in those far off days when a brandy cost 10d or about 4p in modern money if you could get served. The licensing laws being very different then.

The topic of love is very much on everyone’s minds with a chance encounter between a doctor and  married housewife Laura, played Shereen Martin. Both are totally besotted but are duty bound to honour their marriage vows so they are forever saying farewell at the station, until of course… next time.

Coward’s work is very much about escaping the humdrum of daily lives with the thrill and pain it invariably causes.

Tonight at 8.30 C31B0427On Saturday 19 July audiences will have chance to see the full theatrical spectacle of the production in a special triple bill days when all nine plays performed on the same day.

Blanche McIntyre commented: “TONIGHT AT 8.30 is a lost masterpiece: a celebration of writing and acting that builds to become a manifesto on how to live. The breadth of Coward’s vision and the depth of his humanity are staggering. Directing the TONIGHT AT 8.30 sequence has been one of my lifetime ambitions and I’m thrilled to be working on it”

The full cast is Kirsty Besterman, Daniel Crossley, Amy Cudden, Shereen Martin, Olivia Poulet, Gyuri Sarossy, Peter Singh, Orlando Wells and Rupert Young.

 

 

To book tickets

0844 871 7650*

www.atgtickets.com/brighton*

*Subject to a booking fee

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