Thursday, 26 September 2013

'Strange Interlude' National Theatre, Lyttleton ****

The National Theatre's production of Eugene O' Neill's 1928 play 'Strange Interlude' was both brilliantly performed by all actors and crafted so eloquently by both the creative and  production teams. The narrative is based and focused on Nina Leeds who is played by the ever wonderful Anne-Marie Duff is a really intriguing but slightly troubled woman who at the beginning of the show we see she has been suffering from an illness of some kind for quite a long time but throughout the production we learn that three men are fighting for her love and affection. The three male roles Charles Marsden (Charles Edwards), a long term friend of Nina's who has always loved her, Edmund Darrell (Darren Pettie) a bolshy Biologist who Nina has a affair with when she's married and Sam Evans (Jason Watkins) a highly misunderstood but highly naive man who marries Nina. The roles are performed with care and attention and it was interesting to see how different these men are from one another and I particularly admired the scenes when all three of the them are together and understanding the adoration they have over this one woman.  The productions director Simon Godwin directs this classic story beautifully as he has enabled the original context to be show to a contemporary audience who may have never have heard or read this play before. He has worked with the Lyttleton stage graciously and has encapsulated a vast amounts of locations to fit around a revolve without it feeling overly used. The designer fro 'Strange Interlude' Soutra Gilmour has to be credited with the utmost respect. She has created a work of genius by managing to design a set that depicts the times of 1920's America in outstanding detail.  In addition the costume designs are wonderfully thought of and conveys the characteristics of the characters and the dramaturgy of the whole production.  It seems to me that both the director and the designer have collaborated with one another with such depth and understanding that I find their work flawless and effortless. What a wonderful work of brilliance and a production that has to be commended to all who have seen this. This production has now closed but to all those who have witnessed this wonderful piece of theatre I hope you all had a wonderful time as much as I had. 

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