Rating: ★★ (2 stars)
Play: A Streetcar Named Desire
Playwright Tennessee Williams
Director: Michael Emans
Company: Rapture Theatre
Venue: Theatre Royal Glasgow
Performance Date: 9 Sept. 2017
Summary: “Southern belle, Blanche DuBois, seeks solace with her sister, Stella, after her world starts to crumble. But her downward spiral brings her face-to-face with Stella’s husband, the sexy but brutal Stanley Kowalski. As temperatures soar and passions rise, Blanche and Stanley battle for Stella’s soul.” (Source: http://www.atgtickets.co.uk)
Content Warnings*: Domestic abuse, verbal abuse/threat, sexism, racism, vivid description of a suicide, alcoholism.
*N.B. Please note that this review is only a review of the first act of the play, I had to leave due to personal reasons.
Tennessee Williams’ play could have been so much more, I am gravely disappointed in this production. I was expecting much more impact from the cast as an ensemble, but only Gina Isaac (Blanche DuBois) kept the energy up. Isaac’s performance was captivating and authentic; during Blanche’s monologues, I became immersed in her poetic descriptions as Isaac’s voice was entrancing, she truly brought Blanche’s charm and wit to life.
As for the rest of the cast, I was frustrated with the lack of accent work and with some, authenticity. Julia Taudevin’s performance as Stella was dry and wooden, I felt that Taudevin was overwhelmed by Isaac’s energy and relied on Isaac’s presence. In their scenes, Stella felt barely there. Additionally, Joseph Black’s performance as Stanley was pushing on caricature which was especially noticeable during Stanley’s famous cry for his wife – it ultimately felt forced which ruined the moment.
The staging was ideal as it was small and cramped for the three central characters, the pale lighting was effective, but the pale moon in the background felt superficial and added without thought.
Why did I attend this play?
I love Tennessee Williams’ work, so I had to see this.
Would I attend another Rapture Theatre production?
Next time, I think I will pass.
A Streetcar Named Desire should have blown me away, but it simply lacked energy and authenticity from the majority of the cast.
– Melissa Jennings