Reviewed by Paul Davies
Geoff Brittain has brought together an excellent team. –Actors and a production team who don’t deserve the appellation “Amateur.” And directed with pace, and professionalism.
Julie Quick as Martha wears the pants in this house, and with whomever she’s relating to. The character mentions Bette Davis, and at times Quick sounds like her, and death-stares just like her. Chris Leech also channels, (as actors doing accents are inclined to) although in his case it seems to be the love child of Jack Nicholson and Christopher Lloyd. His characterisation is totally involving. Mark Healy as Nick really comes into his own once the character gets the hang of being nasty: generally the most fun for an actor, and Jessica Carroll’s Honey is a gentle soul who may or may not have trapped her husband, in many ways she has the hardest part, often only reactive, but she brings true pathos to the role.
It is worth mentioning Michael Caine’s advice for playing drunk: “-Drunks always try to look sober.”
The downfall of the play, apart from the Bloomsberesque in jokes, is for me that writer Edward Albee could not find another way except the excuse of drunkenness for his protagonists to be so nasty to one another. I wonder if this is a product of the time the play was originally set in? Bringing the piece into the modern day seemed clumsy to me. It also creates problems for the script, and noticing those brings the audience “back into the room” One feels that an audience should be trusted by a director to see a play in and of its time.