United Players of Vancouver

Suddenly Last Summer
by Tennessee Williams

Dates 9 September - 2 October 2005 Venue Jericho Arts Centre Reviewer Jane Penistan


 

 

Director Stephane Kirkland Set design Janice Chiu Costume design Amanda Karaca Lighting design Jane Loong Sound design Mary So Stage manager Jennifer Matheson


Cherise Clarke, Daniel Thomas, Brenda McDonald, photo Doug Williams

Suddenly Last Summer is one of Williams' shorter plays, but no less enthralling than his longer works. Once again he looks at an older woman in a power struggle with the younger generation. In this drama the outcome is destructive and shocking, but the unravelling of the threads of the plot is beautifully handled with all Williams' skill and acumen.

In this production Stephane Kirkland and her cast implicitly follow the author's build up to the climax with resulting dramatic effect.

As the imperious Mrs. Venable, Brenda McDonald captures the essence of this character, sustaining it throughout, with understanding and skill. Jacqueline Becher as Mrs. Holly is a delightful, maternal contrast to her wealthy autocratic sister- in -law Mrs. Venable. Of the men, Daniel Thomas does not seem quite settled in his role of Dr. Cukrowicz, though he becomes more assured in his scenes with Catherine Holly. George Holly (Brian Davies) is the jealous younger brother of Catherine (Cherise Clarke), whose performance grows with her lines, developing the suspense and tension of the script as it reaches the denouement.

Both Brooke Jewell as the downtrodden, but competent Miss Foxhill and Arlene Belcastro as Sister Felicity, play well in their supporting roles.

 

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Amanda Karaka has dressed the actors in delightful costumes. The long central set makes it difficult for the audience to watch all the characters on stage at the same time, with the consequence that some speeches and gestures are missed at times by a part of the audience.

Suddenly Last Summer is a good beginning to a successful season for the United Players' 2005-2006 season. Best wishes to them for a great year.

Suddenly Last Summer runs at the Jericho Arts Centre, 1765 Discovery Street, September 9 - October 2, 2005 at 8.00 p.m., Thursday through Sunday. For more information, tickets and reservations call 604-224- 8007,ext 2 or visit www.unitedplayers.com.

2005 Jane Penistan

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