Sir David Hare is a decorated playwright, screenwriter and director whose talent becomes obvious with the very tight script for Amy’s View.
Set in England commencing 1979 the play traverses through four acts to 1985, 1993 and concluding in 1995. The lead into each act was cleverly done with music and news clips from the era.
The Directors Tim Williams and Jan Farr have gathered together a very talented cast and have kept to the bold ‘in your face’ script that brings out the best in all the actors. Act 1 was a little slow as we were introduced to the characters but the show really took off from there.
Esme Allen played by Joanne St Clair is a relatively famous West End actress but is now finding it difficult to get offers to continue her craft. Allen bounces onto the stage with the articulation that one would expect from a star and her ability not to acknowledge her financial position becomes a key to the play.
Amy Thomas played by Rose Harvey is the daughter of Esme. She is trying to hide the fact that she is pregnant. The rapport between Amy and Esme as loving Mother and Daughter when embracing or fighting is a feature. The scene where some violence ends with Esme being thrown backwards onto a couch highlighted the depth of the script and the ability of the actors and the director to bring gasps from the audience.
Amy’s love interest Dominic Tyghe played by Simon Barnett has the role that requires the audience to dislike him for his arrogance and know all attitude. He carried off a performance that had all the attributes required, then showed his mellowing side in his last scene with Esme. His arguments on the value of the arts are what drives a wedge into the family.
Evelyn Thomas played by Jill Morrell is the grandmother of Amy. She plays the convincing true to life grandmother in Act one and two who is easily identifiable in a lot of families. Her performance was highlighted by her reaction and actions when the onset of dementia occurs. Her performance in Act 3 really held the audience’s attention.
Frank Oddie, played by Steve Marvanek, is in love with Esme and becomes her financial adviser. His physical actions and the sincerity in his voice show his depth as an actor as he portrays Frank as a caring, if not a responsible, person.
Toby Cole played by Jackson Barnard has a cameo part which he plays to perfection in the final scene. Toby is an aspiring actor and is a co-star with Esme in a stage play.
The set design by Bob Peet was at the very high standard we come to expect from Stirling Players and the change to the final Act was unexpected and a delightful surprise.
Lighting by Paul Tosell and sound by Ray Trowbridge were on target and assisted in the mood for the play.
Costumes were relative to each period. Evelyn’s aging makeup was evident but the others did not seem to age very much.
For some incredible acting this show is highly recommended.