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Summer And Smoke

Southwark Playhouse

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#1 mallardo

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 12:06 PM

Add Rebecca Frecknall's name to the list of talented young women theatre directors who seem to be dazzling us everywhere these days.  Her wildly clever production of Tennessee Williams' strange Summer and Smoke in the Southwark Vault is illuminating in every sense of the word.

Evoking a hot Mississippi summer in these gloomy tunnels would seem an impossible feat but Ms Frecknall makes the space work for her. Indeed, it feels as if this intense claustrophobic drama of unfulfilled longings and missed connections is being played in one of the outer circles of Hell.  It's very effective.

Six actors play a multitude of parts, the four non-leads additionally functioning as a kind of chorus, always visibly circling around the two protagonists, watching and listening and passing judgment, the faces and voices of the community.  It adds nicely to the pressures felt by Alma Winemiller, the spinster daughter of the town's minister whose family obligations force her to live a life circumscribed by convention. Her love for the bad boy next door, a bitter young self-destructive doctor who is her opposite in every way, is the play's focus and its action.

Both characters evolve in surprising ways, Alma most of all, especially as played here by a young actress named Kate Lamb who turns in a luminous and heartbreaking performance. Alma is one of Tennessee Williams' great female roles and Ms Lamb does her full justice.

Check this one out.
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#2 Lynette

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 01:53 PM

Wish you had said earlier!

#3 mallardo

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 02:11 PM

Alas, I wish I'd seen it earlier.  I didn't realize it was closing tomorrow (June 23).
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#4 dude-1981

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Posted 23 June 2012 - 06:07 PM

Could you be thinking of Tender Napalm?  That closes today, this has another week to go.

http://southwarkplay...mmer-and-smoke/
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#5 mallardo

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 10:06 AM

Yes, you're right.  Thanks for the correction - and the reprieve.
Excuse me if I seem jejune
I promise I'll find my marbles soon.





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